Comcast Unveils CDN Service for Content Delivery via Last Mile

Comcast has introduced a commercial content delivery service targeting large and mid-sized content owners that can offer competitive SLA and pricing, since the company already owns the network. Comcast’s CDN allows content owners to go directly to the ISP to store and deliver content via the “last mile.” While this approach can displace traffic delivered by third-party CDNs such as Akamai and Limelight, it should not be confused with a “fast lane” or “prioritization” of content. Continue reading Comcast Unveils CDN Service for Content Delivery via Last Mile

AT&T Could Reach $50 Billion Deal for DirecTV in Two Weeks

AT&T is close to striking a $50 billion deal to acquire satellite TV provider DirecTV, according to people familiar with the matter. An agreement between the two companies involving a mix of cash and AT&T stock could be reached within two weeks. Insiders say the two sides are discussing a share price for DirecTV in the low to mid-nineties (at $95 a share, such a deal would value DirecTV at almost $48 billion). The deal comes as AT&T considers video distribution a potentially key initiative for its future. Continue reading AT&T Could Reach $50 Billion Deal for DirecTV in Two Weeks

Chinese E-Commerce Company Alibaba Files IPO in the U.S.

Alibaba, China’s largest and fastest growing e-commerce company, filed for a $1 billion IPO, which could make it one of the most valuable tech companies in the world. The company made $6.5 billion and saw a 57 percent increase in revenue in the last nine months of 2013. Alibaba handles more business than any other e-commerce company, with transactions on its three online sites — Taobao, Tmall and Alibaba.com — totaling $248 billion, which is more than eBay and Amazon combined. Continue reading Chinese E-Commerce Company Alibaba Files IPO in the U.S.

Sprint in Talks with Banks to Fund Acquisition of T-Mobile

Sprint is reportedly meeting with five different banks, including JP Morgan, Goldman Sachs and Deutsche Bank, to expedite its bid for rival T-Mobile. Insiders say that Sprint, which is owned by Japan’s SoftBank, hopes to finance much of T-Mobile’s estimated $50 billion price with corporate bonds. The remaining amount would likely be covered by syndicated loans and convertible bonds. Sprint, which is also working to ease regulatory concerns regarding the deal, is expected to make a formal offer by June or July. Continue reading Sprint in Talks with Banks to Fund Acquisition of T-Mobile

WhatsApp Announces New Voice Service After Facebook Deal

During a keynote at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona this week, WhatsApp CEO Jan Koum announced that the mobile messaging service would start to offer voice calls. The move could help justify the massive $19 billion price tag of the recent Facebook deal. While the marketplace for Internet phone services is already crowded, WhatsApp could become competitive since it is now backed by social giant Facebook. The voice service is planned to launch in April. Continue reading WhatsApp Announces New Voice Service After Facebook Deal

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

Second Screen: The Battle Between Tweets and Facebook Posts

Despite Twitter’s limited growth over the past few quarters, the social messaging service continues to experience second screen popularity with television viewers. Facebook is attempting to tap into this market as well, but has been battling the perception that its users generally post before or after a broadcast, rather than during it. However, U.K.-based social analytics agency SecondSync released a study that suggests 60 percent of Facebook interactions about TV programs occur during the broadcasts. Continue reading Second Screen: The Battle Between Tweets and Facebook Posts

Big Brands Respond to Value of Facebook Advertising Tools

Facebook reached record profits as evidenced in its fourth-quarter financial report, thanks in part to its investment in resources to prove its worth to advertisers. Currently, the company’s market value is at almost $150 billion, and advertisers are responding by spending even more in advertising on the social media site. New tools for marketers allow them to target users based on their in-store spending habits, increasing the value of ads on the site. Continue reading Big Brands Respond to Value of Facebook Advertising Tools

Amazon Says It May Increase Shipping Fees of Prime Service

Amazon announced in a fourth-quarter earnings conference call that it might be raising prices on shipping fees through its Amazon Prime program. The $79-a-year shipping service could go up in price by as much as 50 percent, increasing the company’s bottom line by close to $500 million. The announcement came as a pleasant surprise to investors following a slow holiday season for Amazon and its lowest growth rate in several years. Continue reading Amazon Says It May Increase Shipping Fees of Prime Service

Verizon Will Likely Respond to T-Mobile’s Aggressive Prices

Following a 3 percent drop in market value, Verizon has hinted at plans to get competitive in pricing, which customers will likely appreciate, but investors might not. The telco lost about $4 billion of its value, and some say it’s directly related to the competition among telcos to be the most aggressively priced. T-Mobile has been most notably aggressive in its pricing strategies, attracting new customers and possibly forcing Verizon to lower its fees as well. Continue reading Verizon Will Likely Respond to T-Mobile’s Aggressive Prices

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

Streaming Music Services Struggle to Recruit Paid Subscribers

Similar to how CD sales gave way to download sales, digital downloads are now giving way to on-demand music streaming. But despite their surging popularity, streaming services such as Pandora and Spotify are having a difficult time getting their listeners to pay for subscriptions. The overwhelming majority of subscribers would rather put up with ads for the free version than shell out money for unlimited, uninterrupted music. Continue reading Streaming Music Services Struggle to Recruit Paid Subscribers

Fake Twitter Accounts Boost Individuals and Trending Topics

Twitter estimates the percentage of its accounts that are fake is less than 5 percent, but some independent researchers think that number is closer to 9 percent. Fake accounts are a big market for those looking to boost their popularity and influence on Twitter, despite efforts by the social networking site to weed out the imposters. One man who manages 10,000 robot accounts for roughly 50 clients offers a glimpse into the market. Continue reading Fake Twitter Accounts Boost Individuals and Trending Topics

Rivalry Between Facebook and Newcomer Snapchat Heats Up

Snapchat users are sending approximately 400 million ‘snaps’ per day, whereas Facebook users are uploading about 350 million photos each day and Instagram users are uploading roughly 55 million photos daily. Snapchat’s 400 million snaps account for both video and photo messages, but it is likely that Snapchat surpasses Facebook on photo volume alone. While some question the validity of Snapchat’s numbers, the company reported 350 million snaps daily in September, up from 200 million in June. Continue reading Rivalry Between Facebook and Newcomer Snapchat Heats Up

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