Dish Chair Said to Approach DirecTV About Possible Merger

Insiders report that Dish Network Chairman Charlie Ergen recently contacted DirecTV CEO Mike White to discuss a potential merger of the two companies. DirecTV, the largest U.S. satellite TV operator, currently has about 20 million subscribers, while Dish, the No. 2 operator, has about 14 million. Ergen reportedly approached White in response to Comcast’s proposed $45 billion acquisition of Time Warner Cable. However, White is said to be reluctant regarding formal talks out of concern that regulators would block a deal. Continue reading Dish Chair Said to Approach DirecTV About Possible Merger

Digital Cinema Consortium Plans to Acquire Satellite Network

The Digital Cinema Distribution Coalition — a consortium formed by AMC, Cinemark, Regal, Warner Bros. and Universal Pictures — signed a letter of intent to acquire the Deluxe/Echostar satellite network in a significant step toward updating the digital delivery of content to theaters and eventually eliminating the need to ship hard drives. Over the next 12-14 months, the consortium will pay to convert 699 Deluxe/Echostar screens to DCDC and add another 300 that were not yet deployed. Continue reading Digital Cinema Consortium Plans to Acquire Satellite Network

Facebook Plans to Purchase VR Startup Oculus for $2 Billion

In a surprise announcement yesterday, Facebook revealed its plans to acquire Oculus VR, maker of the virtual reality Oculus Rift headset. Reaction to the $2 billion agreement has ranged from excitement on Wall Street — to bewilderment by those questioning the accuracy of the news — to anger by some early supporters who pledged funds to the startup via its Kickstarter campaign. Others reportedly disappointed in the news include developers who purchased early prototypes of the Oculus Rift hoping to become the first to create games. Continue reading Facebook Plans to Purchase VR Startup Oculus for $2 Billion

Intel Confirms Purchase of Wearables Startup Basis Science

Intel confirmed yesterday that it has acquired Basis Science, a San Francisco-based startup that makes a $199 health-tracking wristband known as the Basis Band. The device — which tracks sleep, heart rate, calories and steps — syncs with iOS and some Android devices via Bluetooth. Up to this point, the Basis Band device has used Texas Instruments chips. Intel has bigger plans than merely supplying processors, and the acquisition could be the first step toward entering the wearables market more directly. Continue reading Intel Confirms Purchase of Wearables Startup Basis Science

Disney to Acquire Popular YouTube Network Maker Studios

It has been confirmed that Disney is acquiring Maker Studios, a top YouTube multichannel network, for $500 million, with a performance-based earn-out of up to $450 million. The deal is expected to provide Disney with insight into new patterns of discovery and interaction regarding short-form online videos, especially among millennials. Maker Studios was founded in 2009. The network generates more than 5.5 billion monthly video views from its 380 million subscribers. Continue reading Disney to Acquire Popular YouTube Network Maker Studios

Tumblr Ad Deal with Viacom to Launch with MTV Movie Awards

Blogging site Tumblr, purchased last year by Yahoo for $1.1 billion, has announced its first TV ad partnership. The deal is with Viacom, which plans to pitch cobranded campaigns on Tumblr to marketers tied to programming for cable networks including CMT, Comedy Central, MTV, Nickelodeon, Spike, TV Land and VH1. Viacom will offer campaigns to marketers during the 2014 upfront season that will combine Tumblr’s ad products with content developed by Viacom. Continue reading Tumblr Ad Deal with Viacom to Launch with MTV Movie Awards

Lenovo Expands its Mobile Patent Assets with New Purchases

In January, PC maker Lenovo announced it would expand its mobile efforts with the proposed acquisition of Google’s Motorola Mobility for $2.9 billion. Now the Chinese company plans to spend $100 million on patents related to 3G and 4G tech from U.S.-based Unwired Planet. Already one of the biggest smartphone vendors in China, Lenovo plans to use the 21 patent families from Unwired Planet to grow its smartphone and mobile business in new markets. Continue reading Lenovo Expands its Mobile Patent Assets with New Purchases

Netflix CEO: Broadband Companies Should Interconnect for Free

In a blog post yesterday, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings said that broadband providers should be required to connect their networks to major content providers (including Netflix) free of charge. Hastings issued a call for new rules that would prevent broadband providers like Comcast from charging content companies fees to connect directly to their networks (a practice referred to as “paid interconnection” or “paid peering”). Netflix recently struck such a deal with Comcast to improve its video service for subscribers. Continue reading Netflix CEO: Broadband Companies Should Interconnect for Free

Prime Focus Technologies to Acquire DAX in $12.5 Million Deal

Prime Focus Technologies (PFT) has agreed to acquire DAX in a deal valued at nearly $12.5 million. PFT is known for CLEAR, its cloud-based content and workflow management platform, while Culver City-based DAX develops media asset management applications and cloud-based production software, including the Emmy-winning Digital Dailies. DAX is actively engaged in the ETC’s Cloud Project, sharing both expertise and development resources. Continue reading Prime Focus Technologies to Acquire DAX in $12.5 Million Deal

News Reader Flipboard Strikes Deal with CNN to Acquire Zite

Digital magazine platform Flipboard has acquired rival app Zite from CNN for an undisclosed amount. Flipboard, a popular cross-platform news reader app, is expected to launch custom magazines linked to a number of CNN shows. It also announced a new advertising partnership with CNN to help monetize combined coverage. CNN bought Zite in 2011 for a rumored $20 million. Flipboard, which generates 2.5 billion page views per month, launched on iOS in 2010 and landed on Android in 2012. Continue reading News Reader Flipboard Strikes Deal with CNN to Acquire Zite

Project Tango: Google Aims to Bring 3D Sensor Tech to Phones

Google recently announced a new initiative dubbed “Project Tango” that plans to integrate 3D sensor technology in a series of prototype Android smartphones. The venture involves a 5-inch phone built by Google that features sensors for tracking the device’s movement while modeling the surrounding space and landscape. “This could impact future game design, virtual set construction and location scouting,” notes ETC staffer Phil Lelyveld. “It could enable crowd-sourced 3D stitching of location modeling data.” Continue reading Project Tango: Google Aims to Bring 3D Sensor Tech to Phones

Rovi Pays $69 Million to Acquire Voice Search Startup Veveo

Rovi announced that it is purchasing video discovery and voice search startup Veveo and the company’s IP for $62 million in cash and up to an additional $7 million based on performance milestones. The acquisition of Veveo’s technology is expected to bring new voice search capability to Rovi’s video discovery platform. Veveo uses natural language processing combined with semantic tech to integrate intuitive search and recommendation features into video discovery applications. Continue reading Rovi Pays $69 Million to Acquire Voice Search Startup Veveo

Standoff Ends: Netflix to Pay Comcast for Improved Streaming

In a landmark deal that could potentially serve as precedent for future Netflix agreements with broadband providers, the video streaming service has agreed to pay Comcast to guarantee that movies and TV shows stream smoothly to the cable provider’s customers via Netflix. In exchange, Netflix will have direct access to the broadband network. The pact comes 10 days after Comcast agreed to buy Time Warner Cable, which, if approved, will lead to Comcast providing broadband services to about 32 million households. Continue reading Standoff Ends: Netflix to Pay Comcast for Improved Streaming

Facebook to Acquire Mobile Messaging Service for $19 Billion

Facebook has agreed to purchase mobile messaging company WhatsApp for $19 billion, in what marks the largest-ever acquisition of a company backed by venture capital. The deal, which comes in the wake of Facebook’s failed attempt to acquire messaging service Snapchat, includes $3 billion in restricted stock, $4 billion in cash, and $12 billion in Facebook shares. The deal easily outranks other notable startup acquisitions, including Facebook’s $1 billion purchase of Instagram, and Microsoft’s $8.5 billion Skype deal. Continue reading Facebook to Acquire Mobile Messaging Service for $19 Billion

Google Acquires Audio-Based Password Company SlickLogin

Google has acquired sound-based password company SlickLogin, only five months after the startup launched at TechCrunch Disrupt. The service, currently in beta testing, was designed as a password alternative or an extra security layer for existing passwords. Google’s acquisition could lead to the audio-based technology being used to log in to Android phones, Chrome browsers, Gmail or Google+ in the future. Specifics of the deal have yet to be announced. Continue reading Google Acquires Audio-Based Password Company SlickLogin

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