Comcast to Acquire Time Warner Cable in $45.2 Billion Deal

Comcast Corp. has agreed to purchase Time Warner Cable in an all-stock deal worth about $45.2 billion, in a move that will combine the top two U.S. cable operators. The boards of both companies have approved the proposed deal. The announcement likely marks the conclusion of an eight-month takeover battle waged by cable operator Charter Communications and its largest shareholder, Liberty Media. However, the proposed transaction is expected to face lengthy regulatory review. Continue reading Comcast to Acquire Time Warner Cable in $45.2 Billion Deal

Foxconn and Former Android Exec Rubin Are Talking Robotics

Foxconn executives have been in talks about robotics with former Android executive Andy Rubin, specifically to discuss new robotic technologies and speed up deployment of robots in its factories. Rubin asked Foxconn Chairman Terry Gou to help integrate a tech company that’s being acquired by Google, which last year acquired eight other robotics companies. In the meeting, Gou was said to have expressed excitement over automation technologies demonstrated by Rubin. Continue reading Foxconn and Former Android Exec Rubin Are Talking Robotics

Zynga Acquires NaturalMotion and Its Simulation Technology

Social gaming company Zynga has acquired game and software developer NaturalMotion for $527 million — giving the company access to simulation technology that makes characters look and move naturally. Zynga hopes to improve its mobile games like “FarmVille,” which currently feature more cartoon-like 2D characters. The same technology behind NaturalMotion was used in the “Lord of the Rings” movies, and Rockstar uses it for the “Grand Theft Auto” games. Continue reading Zynga Acquires NaturalMotion and Its Simulation Technology

Google Sells Motorola Handset Biz to Lenovo for $2.9 Billion

After purchasing Motorola Mobility 22 months ago for $12.5 billion, Google has decided to sell the handset business to China’s Lenovo Group for $2.91 billion. Although this is a loss for Google, the company did retain numerous Motorola patents. Google had been struggling to compete in the smartphone hardware business. The deal also signifies Lenovo’s attempt to break into the smartphone market, and create a bigger presence in the technology market worldwide. Continue reading Google Sells Motorola Handset Biz to Lenovo for $2.9 Billion

Amazon Denies Rumors That It is Planning a Pay TV Service

Yesterday, we reported two stories related to Verizon’s acquisition of Intel’s OnCue cloud-based TV platform. In our reporting we noted that a number of companies were believed to be developing Internet TV services, including Amazon, which was reportedly working on a set-top box for delivering streaming video. In response to multiple reports from leading news publications, Amazon reps made a public statement denying any plans the company is rumored to have regarding an Internet TV initiative. Continue reading Amazon Denies Rumors That It is Planning a Pay TV Service

OnCue: Verizon to Acquire Intel’s Cloud-Based TV Platform

Verizon Communications has completed a long-awaited deal to acquire Intel’s cloud-based TV platform. Terms have yet to be released, but people familiar with the matter put the price around $200 million. The acquisition is expected to help Verizon FiOS customers search for content on TVs and Verizon smartphones and tablets. It could also help Verizon establish a foundation for offering an Internet-based version of pay TV, which several companies such as Amazon, Apple and Sony are also said to be pursuing. Continue reading OnCue: Verizon to Acquire Intel’s Cloud-Based TV Platform

Sprint Could Acquire T-Mobile to Better Compete with Rivals

Sprint, the third largest carrier in the U.S., may take over its smaller rival, T-Mobile. Sprint has received proposals from at least two banks on how to finance the acquisition. T-Mobile’s market value is reportedly around $26 billion, but the deal would likely cost $50 billion total, with approximately $20 billion going toward paying off T-Mobile’s debt. The potential takeover comes at a little more than a year from an expected government auction of wireless airwaves. Continue reading Sprint Could Acquire T-Mobile to Better Compete with Rivals

Charter Continues Pursuit of Time Warner Cable with New Bid

Charter Communications went public on Monday with its latest bid for Time Warner Cable. The $37.4 billion cash-and-stock proposal, submitted via letter from Charter CEO Tom Rutledge to TWC Chief Rob Marcus, follows three private offers submitted since June that have all been turned down by the nation’s second-largest cable company. TWC rejected the bid as “grossly inadequate.” Rutledge said Charter, the fourth largest cable operator, has no plans to increase the offer. Continue reading Charter Continues Pursuit of Time Warner Cable with New Bid

Google Shuts Down Bump App: Users Have January to Save Data

The team behind popular contact- and file-sharing app Bump and photo-aggregating app Flock announced this week they will be shutting down the apps to continue work on other projects inside Google. Bump, acquired by Google in September, will no longer be available by the end of this month. Bump and Flock users are encouraged to export all their data by following the instructions that become available when opening either of the apps. Continue reading Google Shuts Down Bump App: Users Have January to Save Data

Sony Agrees to Sell Gracenote to Tribune Co. for $170 Million

We recently reported that Gracenote would introduce ad targeting to terrestrial radio consumers in an effort to make radio ads in vehicles more relevant through personalization (the company is expected to promote its next-gen automotive platform at CES). Sony, which acquired Gracenote in 2008, recently agreed to sell the audio-recognition software business to focus on fewer products. In a deal that highlights the growing importance of metadata, the Tribune Company will pay Sony $170 million for the subsidiary. Continue reading Sony Agrees to Sell Gracenote to Tribune Co. for $170 Million

EBay’s Strategy to Revolutionize Shopping and Beat Amazon

Although eBay is commonly known as an online auction house, CEO John Donahoe has made strides in moving beyond this perception by expanding eBay’s marketplace to include fixed prices with reliable and returnable goods. In the last five years, eBay has made 34 acquisitions which will help provide retail partners with creating interactive storefronts in real locations, help with the back end of websites, monitor inventory in real time, and streamline the electronic payment process.  Continue reading EBay’s Strategy to Revolutionize Shopping and Beat Amazon

Marketing Cloud: Oracle to Acquire Responsys for $1.5 Billion

Oracle announced on Friday that it will purchase marketing software company Responsys for about $1.5 billion ($27 per share). Responsys software will be integrated in the Oracle Marketing Cloud. Oracle CEO Larry Ellison has spent about $50 billion in acquisitions over the past decade, as part of the company’s push toward cloud computing and away from software stored on personal computers and servers. The proposed transaction is expected to close in the first half of 2014. Continue reading Marketing Cloud: Oracle to Acquire Responsys for $1.5 Billion

Gracenote is Working Toward Personalizing Radio Ads in Cars

Gracenote is trying to make radio ads more relevant — and hopefully less annoying — by personalizing them and introducing ad targeting to terrestrial radio consumers in vehicles. In Las Vegas next month, the company will be promoting the next generation of its automotive platform at the Consumer Electronics Show. Sony, which acquired Gracenote in 2008, is said to be looking to sell the audio-recognition software business to focus on fewer products. Continue reading Gracenote is Working Toward Personalizing Radio Ads in Cars

Instagram and Twitter Enable Direct Messaging with Photos

Facebook-owned Instagram has launched Instagram Direct, a photo messaging tool that allows users to send videos and photos directly to individual friends, as opposed to its standard function of simply broadcasting images to all users’ friends’ feeds. It is similar to Snapchat in that it is a direct messaging function, but unlike Snapchat, the photos do not quickly disappear. Twitter, meanwhile, has also been updated to allow sharing photos in direct messages. Continue reading Instagram and Twitter Enable Direct Messaging with Photos

Yahoo Picks Up Natural Language Processing Startup SkyPhrase

Yahoo announced it has acquired SkyPhrase, a four-person startup that develops natural language processing technology. SkyPhrase will join the Yahoo Labs team in New York and will help with Yahoo’s efforts in content delivery for mobile users, who are becoming more accustomed to devices that respond to conversational queries. SkyPhrase’s NLP technology is expected to be used for fantasy sports and other areas that rely on queries involving complex data sets. Continue reading Yahoo Picks Up Natural Language Processing Startup SkyPhrase

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