This fall stun-gun purveyor Taser International acquired Seattle-based smartphone and tablet photo-sharing specialist Familiar. But the baffling merger is hardly a first. Behold, three of the more counterintuitive unions in recent Seattle tech history. 

Microsoft and Nokia After the Kin bombed and the Windows phone failed to even threaten Apple’s dominance in the smartphone race, the Redmond software monger tried again in September 2013, paying $7 billion for a company that sounds like the chef’s special at a sushi bar.

eBay and Decide The world’s leading auction site (bastion for sellers of Battlestar Galactica lunch boxes) reached across from the supply side of the equation in September 2013 and scooped up Decide, the UW-hatched site for buyers that predicts when the price of that Cylon sandwich tin will plummet.

Amazon and The Washington Post Boss Bezos dumbfounded media observers in August 2013 when he purchased the newspaper for $250 million—an estimated 1 percent of his net worth—and we still don’t know what he plans to do with the revered, 136-year-old publication.


This article originally appeared in the December 2013 issue of Seattle Met under the title "Guns, Geeks, and Head-Scratching Tech Mergers."

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