Adobe Aquires Macromedia

SAN JOSE, Calif. – April 18, 2005 – Adobe Systems Incorporated (Nasdaq: ADBE) today announced a definitive agreement to acquire Macromedia (Nasdaq: MACR) in an all-stock transaction valued at approximately $3.4 billion.

Press Release

Having spent the last 7 years working with Macromedia Flash, this news is quite a shock. This is no joke. At a whopping 3.4 bn USD, Adobe have now acquired their long time opponent, effectively killing all competition.

I love Photoshop. I use Dreamweaver and Flash on a daily basis. But somehow, I’m less than thrilled at this news. The competition between Adobe and Macromedia has always been healthy, save for a few lawsuits some years back. It’ll be interesting to see how this pans out.

  • Will it be Adobe Flash CS2 or Adobe Livemotion CS2?
  • Will Adobe Dreamweaver CS2 come to pass, or will GoLive succeed it?
  • What about Fireworks vs. ImageReady? They’re both essentially built with the same purpose.
  • Freehand or Illustrator?
  • FlashPaper or PDF?
  • Flash Player or SVG Player?
  • What about Director?
    This really doesn’t feel right.

More Resources

  • Macromedia Acquisition FAQ (PDF)
    From the FAQ:
  • Is this a merger or an acquisition?
  • Adobe is acquiring Macromedia. However, both companies will benefit greatly from joining forces. Macromedia’s stockholders will own 18 percent of the combined company on a pro forma basis.

  • What will be the name of the combined company?
  • Adobe Systems Incorporated.

  • Is the combined company committed to Flash as a development platform?
  • Yes. Macromedia has made tremendous progress in attracting developers to Flash, and the Flash platform will be a key component of the combined company’s strategy going forward.

  • How does this affect Adobe’s support of SVG (scalable vector graphics)?

Both Adobe and Macromedia have been involved in defining SVG and both were part of the W3C working group that defined SVG. The combined company will continue to work with customers and partners to define a future roadmap for our products.

22 thoughts on “Adobe Aquires Macromedia”

  1. Jonas Rabbe says:

    Ok, that’s just a little bit shocking. I may not check up on my tech news often enough, but I had no clue.

    Currently I most use photoshop, I am afterall just a programmer with an interest in photography, but I’ve used flash and fireworks previously.


  2. AkaXakA says:

    Wow. I must say I’m ‘worried’ about Flash at all. Since it has such a large install base, (rivaling javascript and much more up to date) it’d be stupid to through it away.

  3. Joen says:



    While they could improve the integration between the programs considerably, what worries me is the lack of competition.

    Heck, ever since Photoshop became defacto, they’ve pretty much stopped innovating, in my opinion. That was version 4. It had the brushes, and gaussian blur. The only CS feature I use other than that is the “expert” fullscreen mode where the artboard is released.

    Wow. I must say I’m ‘worried’ about Flash at all. Since it has such a large install base, (rivaling javascript and much more up to date) it?d be stupid to through it away.

    Well, Flash 8 will be released as though nothing happened. It’s the version after that that’ll show the acquisition. I suspect they’ll drop LiveMotion, and maybe just add SVG export to Flash 9. So my only worry here is that they should stop innovating. Then again, Flash MX 2004 wasn’t a success, IMHO.

    My biggest woes are with Freehand and Dreamweaver. While I DO think they see the benefits of Dreamweaver over GoLive, I fear they’ll just effectively kill Freehand (which I’m not using, but have been wanting to migrate to forever).

  4. khaled says:

    I’m on the exact same wavelength as you Joen, except I LOVE Freehand, and that’s my biggest worry. Illustrator’s innovations began when Freehand started becoming more competitive.

  5. Chris says:

    Needless to say, this was the first news I saw this morning and my head popped off.

  6. Joen says:

    For some reason, Corel seems more interesting than they ever have been. I’m not predicting mass exodus, but I’m sure Adobe’s future monopoly will give more people than just me a bad taste in the mouth. Corel should really take advantage of this and vamp up their image…

  7. Chris says:

    I like Corel sure but I can’t remember the last time I used something of theirs other than Painter.

    But, now this makes me think of something. Painter didn’t start as a Corel product. Corel bought it. But, as I’ve said before Painter 9 is worlds better than previous efforts. So, perhaps some good does come of buyouts.

    I am worried about the monopoly implications of course. Who isn’t? But, there are still a lot of good things that could come of this. Bunches in fact. I can’t think of another time when two companies like this merged. Usually it’s a big company buying a little company for one application ala Microsoft’s method.

    This is two big companies merging that both have tons of great applications. We’re certainly not going to see some instance where Adobe just keeps the names of apps but loses the function. Also, Macromedia is much more than just Freehand, Flash, and Dreamweaver. They have a bunch of other technologies as well that we don’t talk about as much but that are extremely valuable.

    AHH!! It’s all just too much to think about.

    One thing that I think we can look forward to is not the improvement this will bring to the applications themselves or even our own workflows but what improvements this will bring to the multimedia web. Think of all the cool new tricks we might be able to try.

    What happens when Adobe/Macromedia the biggest name in design for all manner of media says “You will support this as a standard.”

  8. Jonas Rabbe says:

    Heck, ever since Photoshop became defacto, they?ve pretty much stopped innovating, in my opinion.

    Here I must most respectfully disagree. For working with photos, retouching, and altering, there have been numerous new features. They may not be revolutions, but they are evolutions that should and did happen.

    As an amateur digital photographer, Photoshop has evolved into the digital darkroom I need. There are even features in CS2 that may not be of much use to a designer, but will make my life easier.

  9. Joen says:

    Here I must most respectfully disagree. For working with photos, retouching, and altering, there have been numerous new features. They may not be revolutions, but they are evolutions that should and did happen.

    Sure there’s been improvements, and I must admit I exaggerated a bit.

    Still, we’re at version 8 now! There should’ve been more improvements, I think.

  10. Chris says:

    There should?ve been more improvements, I think.

    I think there certainly have been many improvements that we just can’t see. What I think you want, though, are innovations.

    At any rate, I’m sure that when this all shakes out and we get the next suite, CS3, there won’t be very many innovations at all. Some, sure. For the most part, though, it will be just a combination version.

    We won’t see the fruits of this merger in our actual program use until perhaps as late as 2007-8.

    And with that I’ve now convinced myself that I’m not happy about this merger. Expect further flip-flopping as the day goes on.

  11. Chris says:

    something just occurred to me while I was soaking in all the commentary from all the other sites freaking out about this merger. We’re, of course, all worried about who will push AdoMedia now? Who will force them to innovate.

    Well, I think this is such a big thing that they’ll be forcing themselves. Sure, it’s all one company but it’s not all one app. These are all different departments and I think they’ll be pushing themselves.

    Also, do you think they’ll just sit there and not do something cool if we’re all banging on the doors saying “add this”?

    Just because AdoMedia owns it all now doesn’t mean they can rest on their laurels. They might not be competing with each other anymore now they have to compete with themselves, with their past versions that many designers stick with through version changes.

    How many people are still using Photoshop 7 with CS 2 about to hit the streets?

  12. Joen says:


    Well, I hate to be pedantic, but this is not a merger. This is Adobe acquiring Macromedia. The name of the new company will remain Adobe. Unfortunately it won’t be neither creative or funny.

    While I agree with you they’ll force themselves to keep ahead, I’m just not sure the pros and cons add up:


    • Better integration between all Macromedia and Adobe apps
    • HUGELY expanded market for the Flash Player (it’ll be pushed with everything)
    • We might get the benefits of Freehand in Illustrator.
    • LiveMotion will be “retired”
    • ImageReady might get the benefits of Fireworks
    • Flash might get the benefits of the AfterEffects timeline


    • Less competition on the graphic field, and as a result – maybe – less innovation
    • Freehand might be retired
    • Dreamweaver might (probably not) be retired
    • Director might be retired
    • Fireworks might be retired
    • I now have 90% of my graphic skills with one company. That’s all most of my eggs in one basket.
  13. Chris says:

    but this is not a merger. This is Adobe acquiring Macromedia

    Correction accepted.

    I have to admit I’m letting my natural optimism get the best of me.

    However, something I read elsewhere, I think it was mezzoblue I can’t remember, makes me think this was actually a strategic move against Microsoft as well. Something about Sparkle and the XAML construction of Avalon being a possible competitor to flash or svg. I’m talking out of my hat of course. My understanding of the fine points is limited.

    Of course, at this point all our discussion amounts to a cow’s opinion. Who knows what really will come of all this. Heck, this acquisition could actually spur Open Source development and give us a whole new competitor. Who knows? I’m throwing up my hands.

    I’m curious, though, to know what that other 10% of your skill set is?

  14. gareth says:

    do you really think they would retire director Joen?

    i hope not, i kind of like that idiosyncratic dinosaur

  15. khaled says:

    Nah Director’s not going away and neither is Flash, but to be honest, I wouldn’t mind SVG to really kick off now in the open source community and get something to rival Flash. It’ll be a long way from now, but the source is pretty mature, the editors however leave a lot to be desired from.

  16. Indranil says:

    I think it’s gonna become the nVidia 3dfx thing.

    Adobe buys Macromedia, scraps product. Corel starts to put up heat, competes for top spot. Adobe forced to use Macromedia technology on it’s products.

  17. Auntie Trust says:

    Macrodobia can expand their profitability now that they are together. Hegemony is accomplished. Why not go all the way now? They can take their increased powers, grease a few palms, have themselves declared tax exempt and open a casino. Headline: “Designapoag Tribe opens first artist oriented casino. Beautiful new interfaces lure designers to gamble their software dollars on a chance to win a bag of quarters.”

  18. Dan Jallits says:

    The recent article Six Apart integrates weblogging tools into Adobe Go Live CS2 has me wondering if these features will also be included into Dreamweaver, which I find to be a much superior product to GoLive.

    I also wonder what is going to happen to the Macromedia communities, which is so successful as it is rich with content and downloads.

  19. Joen says:


    Very interesting, and good question.

    Not because I’m a WordPresser, but features for making MT templates really seems like bloat to me. That was one of the things that annoyed me about GoLive as well: bloat.

    I am confident that Dreamweaver will succeed over GoLive, but sure — some features will migrate north. The question is if this’ll be a good thing, or a bad thing. Right now, I’m worried.

  20. gareth says:

    Dan Jallits says:

    I also wonder what is going to happen to the Macromedia communities, which is so successful as it is rich with content and downloads.


    good point, something i really rely upon. i hope that they make the migration during the transitonal period.

  21. Stu says:

    I gotta say, Corel’s looking really good right now. They’ve even started a pitch to seek out Freehand users ( To me, Freehand always seemed to steal freatures from CorelDRAW anyways, so I can only imagine Freehand users will feel right at home!

    What I’m worried about is GoLive. I detest Dreamweaver and have come to really like GoLive’s way of doing things. Lets hope Corel picks it up when (enevitably) Adobe is forced to part with it.


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