Acquisition

Apple acquires powerful automation app Workflow

Apple has acquired the powerful automation app Workflow, reports TechCrunch. The outlet received a statement from the developers, as well as Apple, confirming the deal, but the financial details are not yet known.

For those who aren’t familiar with the app, Workflow is similar to the popular IFTTT service in that it allows you to create custom recipes to perform complex tasks. The app was designed by former jailbreak developers.

Mozilla acquires popular read-later service Pocket

Mozilla, the non-profit organization behind the Firefox browser, has acquired the read-later service Pocket for an undisclosed sum. The deal files as Mozilla’s first acquisition and was confirmed by both Mozilla and Pocket.

I’ve been a longtime Pocket user because their elegantly designed cross-platform apps let me easily save stripped down versions of articles from online publications for reading later, even without an Internet connection.

Pocket will continue on as a wholly-owned, independent subsidiary of Mozilla. Pocket has native apps on App Store and Mac App Store, plus a browser extension.

Apple reportedly buys Israeli facial recognition company RealFace

Hot on the heels of multiple reports calling for some sort of facial recognition on iPhone 8 to potentially augment or supplant Touch ID, news reaches us that Apple has acquired RealFace, a machine learning and facial recognition company hailing from Israel.

The Tel Aviv-based startup, founded in 2014 by Adi Eckhouse Barzilai and Aviv Mader, was bought for $2 million, according to the Times of Israel. Hebrew-language financial outlet Calcalist pegged the deal’s value at several millions dollars. RealFace is innovating user authentication with what it calls the worlds leading facial recognition technology.

Apple’s risk aversion and arrogance blamed for lack of large takeovers

Apple’s boss Tim Cook said on a recent earnings call with investors and analysts that his company on average acquired between fifteen to twenty smaller companies per year for the last four years, noting that Apple looks for startups of all sizes. “There’s not a size that we wouldn’t do based on just the size of it, it’s more about the strategic value of it,” he said.

A new report Wednesday from Bloomberg alleges that Apple’s reluctance to cooperate with third-party advisers like investment banks, risk aversion and internal acquisition strategy are standing in the way of large takeovers.

Sprint acquires 33 percent stake in Tidal, Jay Z’s Apple Music rival

U.S. wireless carrier Sprint announced Monday that it’s buying one-third of Tidal, Jay Z’s music-streaming service, in a bid to give customers exclusive content not available anywhere else. That’s right, Tidal and its artists will produce exclusive content that will only be available to current and new Sprint customers.

While Sprint now owns 33 percent of Tidal, Jay Z & Co. will continue to run the artist-centric service. Sprint’s CEO Marcelo Claure will join Tidal’s Board of Directors.

Spotify has gone cold on rumored SoundCloud deal

Spotify, the world’s top on-demand music service, is not buying Berlin, Germany-headquartered audio distribution platform SoundCloud after all, TechCrunch has learned.

Spotify has reportedly given up on its latest effort to buy SoundCloud realizing, after months of talks, that any such deal would probably negatively impact its impending initial public offering (IPO) and expected expansions in China, Russia and South Korea.

Fitbit buys Pebble’s software assets, but cancels new hardware

Fitbit, the maker of popular activity and fitness trackers, has officially acquired Pebble. The deal was finalized this morning, both companies have said.

The acquisition includes all of Pebble’s software assets, but excludes any hardware. Yup, that’s right—looks like the Pebble smartwatch is officially dead.

“Due to various factors, Pebble is no longer able to operate as an independent entity,” the company said. “We have made the tough decision to shut down the company and no longer manufacture Pebble devices.”

CNBC: there’s no Time Warner bid coming from Apple “at this point”

U.S. wireless carrier AT&T recently announced it had agreed to buy Time Warner in a blockbuster deal valued at more than $85 billion.

Apple reportedly approached the media giant recently about a possible deal, but the discussions were only preliminary and didn’t move forward.

With the AT&T-Time Warner merger requiring regulatory approval that could take months, things could easily change so no wonder watchers have been keeping their fingers crossed for Apple to step in and make a rival bid for Time Warner.

However, “Apple is not interested in buying Time Warner at present,” people familiar with the thinking at the company told CNBC on Wednesday.