Firms in the IT industries are under constant competitive pressure from incumbent firms and startups to offer innovative products and services. This study explores the effect of mergers and acquisitions (M&A) on firms’ product differentiation in IT industries. The unique characteristics of IT industries, namely hyper-competition, distributed innovation, modularity of products, and the tacit nature of knowledge, make M&A an attractive mechanism to enable IT firms to stay competitive. Drawing on the product differentiation theory, we hypothesize a positive effect of M&As on product differentiation and that this relationship is more potent in firms with higher in-house innovation, an exploitative innovation orientation, and under high levels of industry turbulence. We test our hypotheses using M&A transactions from 1996 to 2016 and a unique 10-K textual analysis-based measure of product differentiation. Using the difference-in-differences identification strategy, the following findings are supported: (1) M&A leads to higher product differentiation, (2) in-house innovation capability and exploitation-oriented innovation strategy positively moderate the positive effect of M&A. These results, which are robust to endogeneities and other robustness tests, contribute to theory and managerial practice by shedding light on the role of M&As as an essential mechanism for product innovation and the complementary role of in-house innovation capability and strategy for firms that intend to take advantage of M&As for creating a competitive edge through differentiating their products and services from competitors. These findings have important managerial value, providing an alternative narrative to the current view on M&As in IT industries as a means of absorbing and dismantling the competition.