It's official: Belkin announced today that it has completed its acquisition of Cisco's Linksys division. In a pre-announcement briefing, executives from Belkin and Linksys emphasized that the two brands will remain distinct, but that Belkin is focused on developing a premium ecosystem for the connected home, as well as pursuing opportunities in the SMB market.
"This acquisition will help us realize our vision as being the global leader in the connected home market," said Mike Chen, Belkin's senior director of networking. "Linksys is a premium brand, due primarily to its dependability, reliability, and proven quality. It will be marketed for use in the home and in the small business environment."
"Belkin will be more focused on the connected home, through its WeMo home-automation product line," Chen continued. "Belkin also has great instincts as to what consumers want in terms of accessories for their mobile products and tablets." Chen also emphasized, however, that Belkin plans to maintain two lines of routers--one under the Linksys brand and a second under the Belkin brand.
"Each brand has a distinct identity with different customers," said Chen. "So we want to assure customers that anything either company announced at CES will be launched. Linksys will be maintained as a separate brand. Customer support will continue unchanged. There will be continuity. From a portfolio standpoint, Belkin remains committed to Linksys customers."
"Over the last six to twelve months, Linksys has had a strong focus on looking at the router as more than just a tool for Internet access," said Mathieu Whelan, who will transition from Cisco to Belkin as regional product manager. "Media streaming, IP cameras--there's a lot of things happening in the router. The router is becoming the brain of the home. Belkin and Linksys are committed to growing the Smart Wi-Fi product line."
Privately held Belkin announced its intention to acquire Linksys from Cisco in late January. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.