AuthenTec, whom Apple was rumored to be interested in buying for $350M, has just sold off their inside security division to Inside Secure for $48M. While we have our ideas of what Apple could be doing with AuthenTec and its list of patents, we can probably assume now that it is something other than their security technology. NFC World reports:
The sell-off of non-essential parts of AuthenTec’s business today probably helps Apple accomplish a couple of things. If the initial Reuters report of the acquisition remains accurate (and it should, according to government records), it recoups investment on parts of the business which aren’t essential to Apple’s plans. It also ensures that once any deal is finalized, there will be less to worry about in terms of Apple gaining undue control over tech essential to the securing of its competitors products, which might raise red flags with regulators.
It is quite possible that the sale of AuthenTec's security division may help Apple in some ways considering acquiring patents that are heavily relied on by manufacturers such as Samsung, LG, Motorola, and more may put the FCC and other regulators up in arms.
It still remains to be seen exactly what Apple's plans are with AuthenTec but it's becoming more apparent that they are more interested in AuthenTec's NFC and fingerprint technology. Apple has stated that NFC was never planned for the iPhone 5 and that features such as Passbook more than solve consumer's immediate needs. It doesn't mean that won't change over time and Apple could simply be securing technology that could be implemented in the future as they've done in the past.
Source: NFC World