Microsoft Is Acquiring GitHub in Stock Deal Worth $7.5 Billion

Microsoft confirmed that it is purchasing GitHub in an all-stock deal valued at $7.5 billion. Acquiring GitHub — a service used by startups and major names such as Microsoft and Google to store code and collaborate, and an essential tool for 28 million developers — is a logical move for the Washington-based tech giant. With CEO Satya Nadella at the helm, Microsoft has been increasing its efforts to serve software developers through cloud services. With GitHub in its arsenal, “Microsoft would be rolling up a crucial part of the ecosystem,” notes Recode. Continue reading Microsoft Is Acquiring GitHub in Stock Deal Worth $7.5 Billion

Google Play Makes It Easy to Track Streaming Movies and TV

This week, Google is rolling out an updated Google Play Movies & TV app, including changes to the Google Play Store that will help consumers more easily identify which streaming services feature their desired content and whether that content is available for rent or purchase. “The end result is something that’s similar to Apple’s own TV app,” reports TechCrunch, “which combines users’ own library of movies and TV with the ability to seek out what’s trending and available in the world of online video.” Continue reading Google Play Makes It Easy to Track Streaming Movies and TV

Sinclair Broadcast Group to Acquire Tribune Media Company

Maryland-based Sinclair Broadcast Group announced it will acquire the Tribune Media Company, which owns 42 television stations across 33 markets. Chicago-based Tribune also owns cable network WGN America, digital multicast network Antenna TV, and holds minority stakes in Food Network and CareerBuilder. Sinclair has agreed to pay $3.9 billion for Tribune ($43.50 per share), plus the assumption of $2.7 billion in debt. According to the Chicago Tribune, “The combined company will become a TV broadcasting behemoth, owning and operating 233 television stations in 108 markets, pending any required divestitures by the FCC.” Continue reading Sinclair Broadcast Group to Acquire Tribune Media Company

Fitbit Close to Acquiring Struggling Smartwatch Maker Pebble

According to a report from The Information, fitness band market leader Fitbit is close to finalizing a deal to purchase smartwatch maker (and Kickstarter success story) Pebble. The startup was said to be facing financial challenges and looking to sell. Fitbit is reportedly looking to pick up Pebble’s intellectual property and software, and is expected to shutter the brand and its products over time. While a dollar amount for the deal has not been revealed, some place the purchase price in the $34-40 million range. “Watch maker Citizen was interested in purchasing Pebble for $740 million in 2015,” reports TechCrunch. “This deal failed and before the launch of the Pebble 2 Intel made an offer for $70 million.” Continue reading Fitbit Close to Acquiring Struggling Smartwatch Maker Pebble

Yahoo Plans for Auction of Patent Portfolio, Lines Up Buyers

Yahoo has distributed letters to potential buyers to launch an auction for its portfolio of 3,000 patents that could earn more than $1 billion. The collection dates back to the company’s 1996 IPO, including its original search tech, say those familiar with the plans. “Yahoo has set a mid-June deadline for preliminary bids,” reports The Wall Street Journal, “and hired Black Stone IP, a boutique investment bank that specializes in patent sales, to run the auction.” Yahoo confirmed the sale of patents and pending applications “related to Web search and advertising.” The company is also selling its core Internet business; Verizon reportedly bid about $3 billion. Continue reading Yahoo Plans for Auction of Patent Portfolio, Lines Up Buyers

Scripps Buys Popular Stitcher Podcast Service for $4.5 Million

Podcast platform Stitcher, purchased by streaming music service Deezer in 2014, has now been acquired by the E.W. Scripps Company for $4.5 million. Scripps owns 34 radio stations in eight markets, while Stitcher provides streaming for more than 65,000 podcasts. “Stitcher will operate as part of Midroll Media, which Scripps purchased about a year ago,” reports Radio Ink. Stitcher employees joining Midroll will operate out of San Francisco. Stitcher’s GM and VP of product Todd Pringle will lead product development. Continue reading Scripps Buys Popular Stitcher Podcast Service for $4.5 Million

Motorola Provides New Context to Comments Made at CES

During CES in Las Vegas, Motorola Mobility chief operating officer Rick Osterloh suggested that Lenovo has plans to phase out the Motorola brand. In the wake of news media and analyst confusion resulting from Osterloh’s comments, the company issued a statement to provide clarification, noting that the Motorola name or organization is not being dismantled, but is instead looking to “evolve” under parent company Lenovo. As part of that initiative, the company is looking to “streamline” its products under two brands — Moto and Vibe. Lenovo acquired Motorola Mobility from Google in 2014. Continue reading Motorola Provides New Context to Comments Made at CES

Discovery Acquires European Rights to Four Olympic Games

In a deal valued at 1.3 billion euros (about $1.45 billion), Discovery Communications has paid for exclusive rights to broadcast four Olympic Games across most of Europe from 2018 to 2024. The rights include broadcast and pay TV, the Internet and mobile. The deal, announced by Discovery yesterday, marks the first time that a single media company has paid for exclusive rights to broadcast the Olympics across Europe. Discovery plans to make at least 200 hours of the Summer Olympics and 100 hours of the Winter Games available on free-to-air television. Continue reading Discovery Acquires European Rights to Four Olympic Games

Interest in Acquiring Flipboard Heats Up with Tech Companies

Reports recently surfaced that Twitter has been in talks this year to purchase Flipboard, in a deal that would value the company at more than $1 billion. The acquisition would bring an experienced product team to Twitter as well as an heir apparent to CEO Dick Costolo in Flipboard co-founder Mike McCue. However, updates to the news have suggested that talks between the two companies have stalled, and other companies, including Google and Yahoo have since had discussions about possibly acquiring the newsreader app. Continue reading Interest in Acquiring Flipboard Heats Up with Tech Companies

LinkedIn Acquires E-Learning Service Lynda.com for $1.5 Billion

In a deal worth $1.5 billion in cash and stock, LinkedIn has agreed to acquire popular online learning service Lynda.com. With this new acquisition, LinkedIn gains another resource to push content to users and promote interaction (LinkedIn already encourages users and influencers to provide content to its site). Originally founded as a service to learn Web design skills, Lynda has become the go-to destination for e-learning and professional development at a starting subscription cost of $25 per month. Continue reading LinkedIn Acquires E-Learning Service Lynda.com for $1.5 Billion

Walmart Launches its New Vudu Spark Streaming Media Stick

Walmart has begun selling its own HDMI streaming media stick — the Vudu Spark — for $24.95 at Walmart.com and select Walmart stores. The Wi-Fi device features a dedicated remote, is powered via USB, and supports 7.1 surround sound and video up to 1080p. It looks like the Spark is largely a single-purpose stick, loaded only with the Vudu app (Walmart’s streaming video service), but the stick is priced $10 less than Google’s Chromecast and currently includes $25 in Vudu credits over five months for customers who activate it. Continue reading Walmart Launches its New Vudu Spark Streaming Media Stick

Overstock.com to Launch Streaming Video Service This Year

It looks like Overstock.com is the latest to throw its hat into the streaming video ring. The Salt Lake City-based company is planning to introduce a streaming video service later this year that will compete in a crowded field that includes its e-commerce rival Amazon. During the National Association of Television Program Executives conference, Overstock Chief Exec Patrick Byrne said the online retailer would launch with about 30,000 movies and TV shows available for rent or purchase and eventually offer original programming. Continue reading Overstock.com to Launch Streaming Video Service This Year

Amazon’s New $199 Echo Speaker Interacts with Shoppers

Users can listen to music through Amazon’s new Echo speakers, but more importantly, this new device listens to users as well. Similar to Siri, users can ask the Echo speakers (which go by the name Alexa) about the weather, news, math problems, definitions, and anything else that can be looked up on Wikipedia. They can also set timers and make shopping lists. Someday those shopping lists may make it possible for Amazon to create an online ordering service through voice commands. Continue reading Amazon’s New $199 Echo Speaker Interacts with Shoppers

Amazon Expands Entertainment Offerings with Comedy Service

As part of its continued media and digital content expansion to take on companies such as Netflix, Amazon is set to acquire online comedy service Rooftop Media. The service gives viewers access to live and on demand recorded content from comedy acts across the country. While specifics of the deal remain undisclosed, the 10-person company will be acquired by Audible, a growing seller of online audiobooks that Amazon purchased in 2008 for $300 million. Continue reading Amazon Expands Entertainment Offerings with Comedy Service

Google Play Movies & TV Comes to Roku, TiVo Includes Vudu

Roku announced that its channel selections now include Google Play Movies & TV, which allows users to watch films and shows rented or purchased via Google Play. Unlike the Google Play Movies & TV app for iOS, users will be able to access content directly through the Roku channel. This may seem like odd news since Google recently announced its own Android TV streaming box, the $100 Nexus Player, which will launch this month. In related news, Vudu is now available on select TiVo models. Continue reading Google Play Movies & TV Comes to Roku, TiVo Includes Vudu

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