Dell acquires MessageOne from Michael's brother Adam Dell

In the oddball acquisition of the day, Dell just swept up email services provider MessageOne in a $155 million cash deal. How odd? Get this, MessageOne was co-founded by Michael Dell's brother Adam who now manages investment funds -- the very funds with partial ownership of MessageOne which Michael and his genetic crew are investors in. As such, Michael, his wife, and kids will receive $12M from the deal, Adam about $970k, and their parents about $450k. For Michael's part, Dell says that he will donate his family's proceeds direct to charity and was excluded from negotiating the acquisition. Still, we can't help but question the merits of such an acquisition when the only comparison that comes readily to mind is Apple's dot Mac service -- a service Apple is rumored to be shifting to Google in order to focus on core business. Don't get us wrong, we get Dell's whole Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) business strategy, but do they really expect to compete directly with Google and MicroHoo while staying true to their PC roots?

[Via New York Times]