Google to Acquire Traffic Mapping App Waze for $1 Billion

Following months of acquisition talks with multiple players, Google has announced it is purchasing traffic navigation company Waze. Financial terms were not disclosed, but sources suggest that Google offered more than $1 billion for the free mobile service, which is currently used by more than 50 million people and launched its global ad platform in November 2012. Other Waze suitors reportedly included Facebook and Apple. Continue reading Google to Acquire Traffic Mapping App Waze for $1 Billion

CBS Beefs Up its Portfolio with Acquisition of TV Guide Digital

CBS announced on Friday that it has wholly acquired TV Guide Digital, whose assets include TVGuide.com and TV Guide Mobile applications. CBS purchased the remaining 50 percent of TV Guide’s digital assets from Lionsgate (although terms have not yet been disclosed). The site and apps will join the growing collection of CBS Interactive properties, where the digital group hopes they will help attract a larger audience in addition to advertisers. Continue reading CBS Beefs Up its Portfolio with Acquisition of TV Guide Digital

Dish Pursues Clearwire: Could Complicate Sprint Nextel Plans

Dish Network is reportedly making a play for shares of Clearwire Corp., which could complicate a planned purchase of the broadband company by Sprint Nextel. In an effort to better compete in the U.S. wireless market, Sprint had agreed to purchase the roughly 50 percent of Clearwire that it does not already own. Additionally, Sprint agreed to a $20 billion acquisition by Japan’s SoftBank Corp. However, Dish also made a $25.5 billion offer to acquire Sprint.  Continue reading Dish Pursues Clearwire: Could Complicate Sprint Nextel Plans

Yahoo Latest to Pursue Hulu with $600-$800 Million Bid

Last week we reported that pay TV operators Time Warner Cable and DirecTV had joined the group of potential Hulu suitors. Over the weekend, it was reported that Yahoo has bid $600-$800 million for the premium video site. The range is based on a number of circumstances including the length of content licensing rights and the amount of control programming companies have over their media. The bid comes amidst plans by Yahoo for other possible acquisitions. Continue reading Yahoo Latest to Pursue Hulu with $600-$800 Million Bid

Dish Goes Up Against SoftBank to Purchase Sprint Nextel

Dish Network has received signed commitment letters from five banks, according to people familiar with the matter, bringing it closer to arranging $9 billion in committed financing for a planned $25.5 billion acquisition bid for Sprint Nextel. Dish has raised nearly $12 billion for the deal, which will compete with October’s $20.1 billion offer by SoftBank to acquire 70 percent of Sprint. The financing arrives a few days after Sprint agreed to enter into negotiations with Dish. Continue reading Dish Goes Up Against SoftBank to Purchase Sprint Nextel

Facebook in Talks to Purchase Mobile Navigation Startup

Social giant Facebook is in discussions to acquire mobile navigation service Waze, according to people familiar with the matter. The purchase price has been reported by some outlets as high as $1 billion, which would rival the amount Facebook paid last year to purchase mobile photo-sharing service Instagram. The Waze acquisition would provide Facebook with the opportunity to efficiently deliver local ads and content to its 1.1 billion users. Continue reading Facebook in Talks to Purchase Mobile Navigation Startup

Dish Network Submits $25.5 Billion Bid for Sprint Nextel

Pay TV operator Dish Network announced yesterday that it has placed a $25.5 billion bid for wireless carrier Sprint Nextel, which is presently ranked third in the U.S. behind Verizon Wireless and AT&T. Dish Network’s chairman and former CEO Charlie Ergen is hoping to bridge the gap of current wireless models by offering customers faster and more affordable television, high-speed Internet and cellphone services in a single package. Continue reading Dish Network Submits $25.5 Billion Bid for Sprint Nextel

Kodak to Sell Scanning Business to Brother for $210 Million

Eastman Kodak announced yesterday that it has entered into an agreement with Brother Industries for the proposed sale of its Document Imaging business. The deal includes a cash purchase price of approximately $210 million and about $67 million in deferred service revenue liability. If a better deal is not offered by another company, Brother will likely take control of Kodak’s scanning hardware and software products. Continue reading Kodak to Sell Scanning Business to Brother for $210 Million

Insiders Say Peter Chernin Bidding $500 Million for Hulu

Multiple sources suggest that Peter Chernin, former president and chief operating officer of News Corp., has formally bid around $500 million for Hulu through his Chernin Group holding company, reports Reuters. Chernin helped launch the online video streaming service in 2007, which is currently controlled by Disney and News Corp. (co-owner Comcast relinquished corporate control as a concession when purchasing NBCUniversal). Continue reading Insiders Say Peter Chernin Bidding $500 Million for Hulu

Amazon to Acquire Goodreads for Competitive E-Book Edge

Amazon announced it will purchase the popular book discovery and recommendation website Goodreads, a social service that centers on book recommendations and reviews. The acquisition — which comes at a time when readers are increasingly turning to tablets and e-readers to search for authors and books — could help push Amazon ahead of competitors Apple and Google in e-book retailing. Continue reading Amazon to Acquire Goodreads for Competitive E-Book Edge

Twitter Acquires Vine, Hopes To Spark More Video Sharing

Twitter recently acquired Vine, an easy-to-use new app that allows users to share six-second looping video creations with friends on social networks. “Instead of the standard video-sharing experience, you record videos by holding your finger on the screen. By lifting your finger, you can momentarily pause the recording, making it possible to create a miniature narrative out of multiple scenes,” explains Wired. Continue reading Twitter Acquires Vine, Hopes To Spark More Video Sharing

Microsoft Enters Discussions to Help Finance Buyout of Dell

The proposed buyout of Dell has a new development as Microsoft has entered talks to acquire the computer maker. The software giant would be buying the company from public stockholders, but a deal has not been announced. “Microsoft hasn’t made a commitment to throwing its money and weight behind the possible deal, which is expected to carry a price tag of $22 billion or more,” according to the Wall Street Journal. Continue reading Microsoft Enters Discussions to Help Finance Buyout of Dell

New IDC Study: Will Microsoft Purchase Netflix and LinkedIn?

  • A study from IDC predicts that Microsoft may consider purchasing Netflix and LinkedIn next year in an effort to cash in on “the convergence of mobile computing, social networking, cloud services, and big data analytics.”
  • “Look for Microsoft to buy a content/media cloud, like Netflix, to provide a marketplace for its apps and content,” says Frank Gens, senior VP and chief analyst at IDC.
  • Gens refers to the platform built on mobile computing, cloud services, social networking, and big data analytics as the “3rd Platform.”
  • “The industry’s shift to the 3rd Platform will accelerate in 2012, forcing the industry’s leaders to make bold investments and fateful decisions,” predicts Gens. He suggests companies including Apple, Microsoft, HP, SAP, RIM and others will face “crossroads moments” next year.
  • Is Computerworld blogger Preston Gralla convinced? Not really. “Building an app store directly into Windows can serve the same purpose. If the price is right, buying Netflix might make sense. But I don’t expect the price to be right.”

Hulu Taken Off the Auction Block: Sale of Video Hub Tabled by Owners

  • After months of bidding, Hulu’s owners — News Corp., NBCUniversal, Disney and Providence Equity Partners — have decided to stop its sale.
  • “Since Hulu holds a unique and compelling strategic value to each of its owners, we have terminated the sale process and look forward to working together to continue mapping out its path to even greater success,” explained the partners in a short statement. “Our focus now rests solely on ensuring that our efforts as owners contribute in a meaningful way to the exciting future that lies ahead for Hulu.”
  • In a related TechCrunch post, it was suggested that media companies saw more value in retaining licensing fees than selling them.
  • Bidders were not willing to pay more for Hulu knowing that the costs for content rights would increase dramatically after the two year period being sold. (Google reportedly bid $4 billion, but wanted streaming rights for longer than the guaranteed “couple of years.”)

The Real Motivation Behind the Motorola Mobility Acquisition

  • An intellectual property analyst makes the case that the reason Google acquired Motorola Mobility for $12.5 billion last month was not to provide patent protection for Android as most believe. It was to prevent Motorola Mobility from making one or more key moves that would have weakened Android’s patent situation even more.
  • For example, Motorola Mobility could have taken a patent license from Microsoft signaling a surrender that would have affected every other Android licensee.
  • It could have started work on a Windows Phone as a way to help it deal with a Microsoft infringement case, suggests the FOSS Patents blog. It also could have attacked other Android licensees to collect royalties.
  • And finally, it could have sold off its patent portfolio to one of Google’s competitors.

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