AllSeen Member Electrolux Buys GE Appliances
Yesterday, Sweden-based Electrolux announced its planned acquisition of GE’s home appliances unit for $3.3 billion in cash. Completion of the deal would give Electrolux more than a 25% share of the global market for home appliances, placing it just slightly ahead of Whirlpool, the current market leader. GE Appliances is particularly strong in the US, and the acquisition would provide Electrolux with more sales channels and additional brand strength in the American market. Overall, the deal offers Electrolux logistic, design and research and development synergies across the globe.
This announced deal comes as home appliance makers are preparing to become integral to the creation of the smart home. Various specification-making bodies are proposing competing sets of standards for the connected home, and a combined Electrolux and GE Appliances would give the AllSeen Alliance an immediate jump in its market reach. Electrolux became a premier member of the AllSeen Alliance at the end of last month. The organization’s AllJoyn open-source framework for connecting objects now has the backing of 63 players, including several other home appliance manufacturers such as LG and Haier.
Developments focused on the smart home will continue to trend during the next decade. Replacement cycles are very different for white goods, and few households are willing to replace a working refrigerator with a new one simply because it has Wi-Fi, so connected products will take time to work their way through the system. Companies such as Apple, Google and Samsung are making their long-term plans for the connected home, often using standards which are incompatible with the others’.
Qualcomm-backed AllJoyn has received a windfall with the Electrolux–GE news, now able to claim bragging rights to the top home appliance maker as a key member. This can certainly be used for some spin to keep its momentum going.
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