Apple's Color Labs Acquisition Involves Only Color's Engineering Team

color labs logoLate yesterday, The Next Web reported that Apple was finalizing a deal to acquire Color Labs, the video streaming service and app founded by Lala Media veteran Bill Nguyen. The report came at the end of a confusing day in which an internal memo indicated that the company was being shut down, only to have the company deny those claims.

AllThingsD now provides significantly more clarity to situation, revealing that Apple is only acquiring Color's 20-member engineering team for a relatively small sum.

What’s really happening is that Color’s engineering team — about 20 people, comprising almost the entire company — is being “acqhired” by Apple at what’s being called a “nominal” price of something like $2 million to $5 million, according to multiple sources familiar with both sides of the situation. To repeat, there are no “double-digit” millions involved, according to many people familiar with the deal.

Apple is not buying Color’s technology, intellectual property, domain names or liabilities. Those are being left with the company, which still has considerable cash in the bank — something like $25 million — and is going to be wound down.

Apple is reportedly bringing Color's engineers on board to work on cloud-related projects.

The report notes that there is a significant amount of bad blood between the various parties involved at Color and even Apple, contributing to the mass confusion yesterday about what exactly is happening with Color. Apple and Color have yet to comment on the deal.

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Top Rated Comments

Krazy Bill Avatar
152 months ago
I know profits are <cough> tight these days but perhaps Apple can grow the OSX team from 2 people to 3 now?
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
JAT Avatar
152 months ago
OMG! They are buying people!
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Renzatic Avatar
152 months ago
Now that Apple has bought the greatest color team in the industry, they'll get to work inventing a new color, fyornk, that'll be the most innovative, magical color in the rainbow.

Samsung will, of course, copy. But all they'll be able to produce is a cheap off-yellow color that only poor people will buy.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
GoCubsGo Avatar
152 months ago
Dang, they must have some skillz.
Serious? This is the best you could come up with?

I have a feeling that we're going to see a social media YouTube-like site coming from Apple. Between this and Particle, it seems possible.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Saladinos Avatar
152 months ago
OMG! They are buying people!
Almost literally. If I were on that team, and Apple paid $2-5M for the team, I'd want a share of that cash.

Between 20 people comes out to between $100K - $200K each.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
paul4339 Avatar
152 months ago
Almost literally. If I were on that team, and Apple paid $2-5M for the team, I'd want a share of that cash.

Between 20 people comes out to between $100K - $200K each.
I guess it depends what the deal was and how much the employees got out it... There's not much to stop Apple from saying to all their employees: if all 20 of you quit and join us, we'll give a $150k sign-up bonus to each (maybe throw a million to the company as goodwill, so they won't put up a fuss).

... sorta like an employee Groupon: buy all 20 and the deal's on!
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)