Samsung buys Harman, premium audio and car connectivity titan

It's Samsung's largest overseas acquisition ever, but the price tag seems fair for what it's getting out of the deal.

Andrew Krok Reviews Editor / Cars
Cars are Andrew's jam, as is strawberry. After spending years as a regular ol' car fanatic, he started working his way through the echelons of the automotive industry, starting out as social-media director of a small European-focused garage outside of Chicago. From there, he moved to the editorial side, penning several written features in Total 911 Magazine before becoming a full-time auto writer, first for a local Chicago outlet and then for CNET Cars.
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Harman is the company behind multiple car audio systems from JBL, Harman/Kardon, Revel or Mark Levinson. And Samsung just bought the whole kit and caboodle for the paltry sum of $8 billion.

Samsung's purchase of Harman is the largest overseas acquisition for the South Korean tech titan, Reuters reports. Harman deals with in-home audio, as well, but its automotive efforts represent approximately two thirds of its revenue. And for the low, low price of $112 per share in cash (or about $8 billion total), it's all Samsung's now.

But, as many famous TV hucksters say, that's not all! Harman's auto-tech efforts extend to the realm of connected cars, as well. Samsung will leverage Harman's tech strengths, which includes infotainment, over-the-air updates and other telematics. Combine that with Samsung's work in 5G mobile connectivity and display tech, and you've got one bright future for infotainment and beyond.

There's also the elephant in the room -- autonomy. Samsung believes its Harman acquisition will pave a smoother road towards rolling out autonomous vehicles, although neither company went too far into detail in their respective press releases.

"Combining Samsung's strengths in leading-edge displays, connectivity and processing solutions with HARMAN's technology leadership and long-standing customer relationships will enable OEMs to provide new offerings for their customers," said Dinesh Paliwal, president and CEO of Harman, in a statement. "Partnerships and scale are essential to winning over the long term in automotive as demand for robust connected car and autonomous driving solutions increases at a rapid pace."

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