Quark, maker of the desktop publishing system QuarkXPress, announced last week its intention to acquire Adobe Systems in the hope of making Adobe's publishing tools Photoshop and Illustrator work better with QuarkXPress.
Adobe rebuffed the offer, saying it was "not interested" in such an acquisition.
Adobe also said Quark had not made a definitive offer, saying only that Quark would purchase Adobe's stock at above market value.
Tim Gill, Quark's founder and chairman, said the publishing community uses QuarkXPress along with Adobe's Photoshop and Illustrator on a daily basis to do their jobs. Making the two companies' products work better together would benefit users, he said.
"The synergy seems pretty apparent," Gill said. "As we try to find more cost-effective ways to move print content to the Web, having those products tuned to work together could help tremendously."
However, Adobe's PageMaker desktop publishing system competes directly with QuarkXPress. Quark indicated it would divest any Adobe products that would bring the company under scrutiny of any regulatory authority.
Adobe said it is waiting for Quark's next move, but Gill said the ball is in Adobe's court.
The acquisition talk did boost Adobe's stock the day after the Quark announcement, with shares going up by more than 12 per cent. Adobe's stock price has lost more than half its value during the past year.
Gill said he hopes Adobe doesn't dismiss Quark's offer without considering it.
"We hope Adobe will investigate the possibilities seriously rather than behaving as if our mission is to kill them. It's not," Gill said.