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Paying by iPad, sir? Apple buys US security firm for $350m

Could be a move to attract enterprise-grade fondlers

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Apple has forked out about $350m in cash for a security company that makes embedded security solutions for mobile devices, according to an SEC filing.

The buyout of AuthenTec drops a few hints about where Apple might take its fondleslab and mini fondleslab ranges in the future.

AuthenTec is a public company so the buyout was listed on the SEC site yesterday. Apple is paying $8 a share to AuthenTec shareholders – a 58 per cent premium on the closing share price the day before the acquisition, according to Bloomberg.

Talking to investors, the AuthenTec CEO said he couldn't comment on particular details – but the buyout deal transfers all AuthenTec hardware to Apple and exclusive licences for AuthenTec's Intellectual Property. Apple will own all future tech developed by the AuthenTec team.

AuthenTec's key technology is fingerprint identification intended to replace passwords on touchscreen devices. The tech works even if your skin is oily and calloused, the site claims:

Our] swipe sensors use a patented sub-surface technology to read the live layer of skin beneath the skin’s surface where the fingerprint is first formed.  This allows AuthenTec sensors to read through worn, damaged, calloused or oily skin to ensure that they provide very accurate fingerprint imaging for everyone, every time.

AuthenTec also produces the software and hardware that backs up their smart sensors and sells bread-and-butter security products like secure Virtual Private Networks, which could go a long way to reassuring enterprise bods planning to buy the kit in bulk.

The amount of money that will shift hands could vary as Apple have promised to pay more for certain licences depending on use.

The Florida-based company lost money last year - filing a loss of $6.78m on revenue of $71.77m. ®

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