Opera postpones earnings call, fueling speculation of an acquisition

Opera Software postponed the results of its quarterly earnings, TechCrunch reported, leading to speculation that the developer is the target of an acquisition.

Opera said last August that it was evaluating offers from external investors after it opened a strategic review into its future options. The company hired investment banks ABG Sundal Collier and Morgan Stanley International as part of the review, which was expected to be completed later in the year.

Last week the Oslo stock exchange halted trading of Opera's shares after rumors of a potential takeover by Chinese online security firm Qihoo 360 were reported, according to TechCrunch. Those rumors increased when Opera rescheduled its earnings release from today to tomorrow morning, leading to speculation that it plans to announce its acquisition.

As TechCrunch notes, though, Qihoo isn't the only potential suitor for Opera, which develops browsers for both the web and desktop PCs and also operates an online ad business for both platforms. Verizon's AOL, which last year acquired Millennial Media and may be interested in Yahoo, is also a potential candidate to pick up the Norwegian developer.

Opera in 2014 acquired the U.S.-based mobile video advertising AdColony in a deal that gave advertisers and publishers a combined reach of more than 700 million consumers.

In other Opera news, the company today launched a "Netflix-style" subscription service for premium Android apps. The company said its Opera Apps Club is being sold to wireless carriers around the world as an alternative distribution and monetization model for apps "based on an unlimited 'all you can download' subscription offer, payable through operators' billing systems."

For more:
- see this TechCrunch report

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