Amazon.com is in advanced negotiations with Hewlett-Packard to acquire the webOS assets HP still holds from its $1.2 billion acquisition of Palm, according to a VentureBeat report.
The report, citing a "well-placed source," said that other companies are vying for the Palm assets but that Amazon is the closest to finalizing a deal. An HP representative declined to comment and an Amazon representative could not be reached for comment, according to the report.
That Amazon might be interested in webOS would not come as a complete surprise. Indeed, HP has mentioned Amazon in the past as a potential partner for the operating system. HP in August said it will stop building webOS devices, but has said it is still evaluating options for the platform.
Jon Rubinstein, who was the driving force behind webOS at Palm before HP acquired the company, became an Amazon board member last year. In July he was put in charge of product innovation in the HP Personal Systems Group, which encompasses smartphones, tablets and PCs, a business HP is considering spinning off.
Rubinstein said in July that Amazon might make a useful partner. "I would say Amazon would certainly make a great partner, because they have a lot of characteristics that would help them expand the webOS ecosystem," he told This is my next. "As to whether there's been discussions or not... that's obviously not something I'm going to comment about."
Amazon just released its first tablet, the Kindle Fire, which is powered by a customized version of Google's (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android platform. However, many of the hallmarks of webOS, including cloud services, are the cornerstone of Amazon's own tablet experience.
- see this VentureBeat article
- see this BusinessInsider article
- see this TIME article
Amazon launches Kindle Fire tablet for $199, sans 3G
Rumor Mill: HP slashes at least 500 Palm jobs from payroll
HP resurrects TouchPad to keep pace with fire-sale demand
HP pledges support for webOS, slashes TouchPad prices
Selling webOS: The toughest job in the mobile industry
HP kills webOS device business