Dropbox acquires cloud-based photo management service Loom

By Cody Lee on Apr 17, 2014

Following the debut of its new Carousel photo and video management app last week, Dropbox announced today that it has acquired Loom, a cloud-based service for storing your photos. The move should surprise no one, as both companies have very similar goals, but it will affect end users.

Starting today, Loom is no longer accepting new users, and the service will officially shut down on May 16. Current users have until then to act if they wish to save any of their photos/videos by either exporting them to Dropbox, with no interruption in service, or downloading them via a zip file… Read More


Apple purchased speech recognition firm Novauris last year to bolster Siri team

By Cody Lee on Apr 3, 2014

Just a day after Microsoft unveiled its digital assistant ‘Cortana’ to rave reviews, news has surfaced that Apple has been making moves to bring its own assistant up to speed. TechCrunch is reporting this morning that the Cupertino company has purchased speech recognition firm Novauris, and the group is now working on the Siri team.

Novauris is highly-regarded in the world of speech recognition. Founded in March 2002 by well-known speech researchers and ex Dragon Systems engineers, the firm’s technology is used in a variety of products by companies like Verizon Wireless, Panasonic, Alpine and BMW, and can be operated in both the embedded and server space… Read More


Vimeo snatches up video-making iPhone app Cameo

By Cody Lee on Mar 19, 2014

For the second time in the past year, Vimeo has acquired an iOS app-maker. Following its purchase of Echograph, an app for creating GIFs, in early 2013, the video site has bought Cameo, an iPhone application for making short, high quality movies.

If you’ve never heard of Cameo before, that’s probably because it just launched in October of last year. But it’s been turning heads during its 6 months in the App Store—we named it one of our apps of the week, and Apple gave it a ‘Best of 2013‘ award… Read More


FCC approves AT&T’s $1.3 billion acquisition of Leap Wireless

By Cody Lee on Mar 14, 2014

Last summer, AT&T announced that it had reached an acquisition deal with Leap Wireless. The company said that it would be buying out the provider, which owns and operates the popular prepaid carrier Cricket, for $15 per share—equal to $1.3 billion. All it needed was approval from the FCC.

And it just got it. Yesterday the Federal Communications Commission gave AT&T’s acquisition proposal a thumbs up, ruling that “the public interest benefits of the proposed transaction outweigh the likelihood of significant public interest harms.” So what does this mean for everybody involved? Read More


Apple looking to add acquisition analysts to its M&A team

By Christian Zibreg on Mar 10, 2014

Apple is looking to boost its Mergers and Acquisitions (M&A) team by hiring acquisition integration analysts, giving us a vague indication that a more diligent strategy to snapping up other companies could be in the cards for the Cupertino firm.

The new job position was posted earlier today on Apple’s job listings website and reported on by Mark Gurman of 9to5Mac. A listing for Acquisition Integration Analyst reveals that Apple is looking for an M&A expert to assist in its acquisitions, by working with the company’s HR, Legal, IS&T, Real Estate, Operations, Finance and Tax departments… Read More


Spotify snaps up music intelligence provider The Echo Nest

By Christian Zibreg on Mar 6, 2014

The popular Swedish music-streaming startup, Spotify, has just purchased The Echo Nest, a music intelligence company in the business of synthesizing billions of data points and transforming them “into musical understanding to power smarter music applications for our customers”.

And just who those customers might be? Well, the startup powers a myriad of music services, among them Spotify rivals like Rdio, iHeartRadio, Nokia MixRadio, Twitter Music and others so this is clearly a well played move on Spotify’s part.

While The Echo Nest will meet all contractual obligations to all customers, Spotify’s Graham James made it clear his company will scrutinize these relationships and “determine the next business steps”Read More


Flipboard buys news reader app Zite for $60 million

By Cody Lee on Mar 5, 2014

Flipboard has announced this morning that it has acquired popular news reader app Zite from CNN. The company didn’t disclose pricing details, but word has it that it went for $60 million and part of the deal is that Flipboard will begin syndicating CNN content inside its apps.

For those unfamiliar with the app, it’s billed as an ‘intelligent magazine’ that helps you discover interesting things to read. Almost like a Pandora for RSS feeds, Zite analyzes millions of articles each day to offer you content on over 40K topics based on your habits and preferences… Read More


Facebook wants to buy drone maker Titan Aerospace to bring Internet to far-flung places

By Christian Zibreg on Mar 4, 2014

With nearly 1.3 billion people using its service, Facebook is the undisputed leader in social networking. But if the service is to expand to the next billion users, and the next billion ones after that, Facebook is going to face a significant hurdle: for two out of every three people, a fast and affordable Internet connection is still a pipe dream.

There’s no denying that the majority of the world simply isn’t online, and when I say ‘majority’ I’m referring to the circa five billion people who are lacking fast connectivity.

But does it have to be this way?

With more than seven billion people living on planet Earth, technology titans are investing resources in crazy technologies that would bring Internet to the masses. TechCrunch is now reporting that Facebook is considering buying Titan Aerospace, a company that makes solar-powered unmanned aircraft.

The goal: use the drones to bring the Internet – and consequentially the Facebook service – to far-flung places on Earth… Read More


Intel reportedly buys smartwatch maker Basis for $100+ million

By Cody Lee on Mar 4, 2014

TechCrunch is reporting that Intel has acquired smartwatch maker Basis for between $100 and $150 million. The buyout follows a scoop from February that the startup was shopping itself around to a number of high-profile tech firms including Google, Microsoft and yes, Apple.

For those unfamiliar with the brand, Basis makes a smartwatch-like device called the Basis Health Fitness Tracker, which it calls the “world’s most advanced health tracker.” The wearable is capable of capturing heart rate patterns, tracking multiple sleep stages and much more… Read More


Mark Zuckerberg says WhatsApp worth more than $19 billion

By Cody Lee on Feb 25, 2014

Since Facebook announced last week that it would be acquiring WhatsApp for $16+ billion, pundits have been trying to make sense of the deal. How can a messaging app startup be worth so much more than say, Motorola Mobility, which has thousands of employees?

According to Mark Zuckerberg, it’s not. It’s worth more. Speaking at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona yesterday, the CEO said that WhatsApp was a ‘great fit’ for his company and that it was worth more than the $19B ($16B + $3B in vested shares) they paid for it… Read More


Apple has acquired Burstly, the company behind iOS testing platform TestFlight

By Cody Lee on Feb 21, 2014

TechCrunch is reporting that Apple has acquired Burstly, the company behind the popular iOS testing platform TestFlight. There’s no word on the details, or pricing, but the company has confirmed the acquisition and its employees are already working in Cupertino.

For those unfamiliar with the service, TestFlight allows developers to distribute its apps to beta testers before pushing them to the App Store for release. It’s similar to HockeyApp, and several developers create their own testing platforms via Apple’s enterprise program… Read More


Verizon completes purchase of Vodafone’s 45% stake in Verizon Wireless

By Christian Zibreg on Feb 21, 2014

Verizon last September announced that it has reached an agreement with Vodafone to buyout its 45 percent stake in Verizon Wireless in one of the largest corporate acquisitions in history.

In December, the Big Red carrier won necessary approvals from the Federal Communications Commission and today the company announced that the acquisition has been completed - Verizon now owns 100 percent of the “industry-leading U.S. wireless carrier”Read More


Google reportedly tried to buy WhatsApp for $10 billion

By Cody Lee on Feb 20, 2014

The entire Internet is abuzz right now with this whole Facebook and WhatsApp deal. For the few that haven’t heard yet, the social network announced yesterday afternoon that it has agreed to acquire the cross-platform messaging giant for a staggering $16 billion.

Since the announcement, details of the buyout negotiations between the two companies have begun to slowly trickle in, and as you might expect, some of them are rather interesting. Fortune, for example, is reporting that Google actually offered to buy WhatsApp first… Read More


Tesla CEO Elon Musk confirms talks with Apple, but says sale unlikely

By Cody Lee on Feb 19, 2014

Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla Motors, in an interview Bloomberg today confirmed speculation that his Palo Alto-based electric car company has held talks with Apple. He wouldn’t comment on what the conversations revolved around, but noted that an acquisition was “very unlikely.”

Musk’s comments follow a report by The San Francisco Chronicle earlier this week that suggested the two were in buyout discussions. The paper claimed that the meeting took place in Cupertino between Musk, Tim Cook and Apple’s chief of mergers and acquisitions Adrian Perica… Read More


Facebook is buying WhatsApp for $16 billion

By Cody Lee on Feb 19, 2014

Facebook has announced this afternoon that it has reached a deal to acquire WhatsApp, the makers of the popular cross-platform messaging app, for a staggering $16 billion. That’s $4 billion in cash and approximately $12 billion in Facebook shares.

The social network says that WhatsApp will continue to operate independently after the acquisition, but claims the deal with WhatsApp—who has nearly 500 million users—”accelerates Facebook’s ability to bring connectivity and utility to the world.”

Read More


Apple among companies interested in buying health tracker maker Basis

By Cody Lee on Feb 17, 2014

TechCrunch is reporting this evening that Basis, the company behind the Basis Health fitness tracker, has put itself up on the auction block. And, as usual, there are a number of high-profile tech companies interested in buying it including Microsoft, Google, Samsung and yes, Apple.

To be more specific, Basis makes a smartwatch-like device that it calls the “world’s most advanced health tracker.” It has built-in sensors capable of capturing heart rate patterns, tracking multiple sleep stages and calorie expenditure by activity, and even monitoring skin temperature… Read More


Apple said to have considered buying Tesla, working on tech to predict heart attacks

By Cody Lee on Feb 16, 2014

As Apple continues to seek growth outside of smartphone and tablet markets, we’ve heard various rumors speculating on what areas the company could enter next. Automotive and medical industries have been popular answers as of late, and today a report added weight to those theories.

The San Francisco Chronicle is reporting today that Apple has been exploring both cars and medical devices to reignite growth, and the scoop is filled with interesting tidbits. For example, the outlet claims Apple execs met with Tesla CEO Elon Musk last year to discuss a potential buyout… Read More


Viber acquired by e-commerce giant Rakuten for $900 million

By Cody Lee on Feb 14, 2014

This is kind of interesting. The Wall Street Journal is reporting this morning that the popular voice call app Viber has agreed to a deal to be acquired by Rakuten for $900 million. For those unfamiliar with the e-commerce giant, it’s essentially Japan’s version of Amazon.

Viber is available on all major mobile and desktop platforms, and is one of Skype’s biggest competitors with over 300 million users worldwide. It was one of the first apps to allow 3G VoIP on the iPhone and it now supports land-line calls, messages and even push-to-talk… Read More


Lenovo CEO: Motorola purchase part of mission to surpass Samsung, Apple

By Cody Lee on Jan 31, 2014

When news hit earlier this week that Google had agreed to sell its Motorola Mobility unit to Lenovo for $2.9 billion, it surprised a lot of people. Not only was the sale price some $10 billion below what Google paid for Motorola 3 years ago, but Lenovo? Where’d that come from?

According to a recent Fortune interview with Lenovo CEO Yuanqing Yan, that was the plan all along. Yan says that his company has been eyeing Motorola since before Google came along , and it has major plans for it. Lenovo wants to become the #1 smartphone-maker in the world… Read More


Zynga acquires Clumsy Ninja developer NaturalMotion for $527 million

By Cody Lee on Jan 30, 2014

Zynga has reached a deal to acquire NaturalMotion, the UK-based gaming company behind Clumsy Ninja and other titles, for half a billion dollars. The announcement came this afternoon, alongside the sad news that Zynga would be laying off 15% of its work force.

The deal is interesting for a few reasons. The first is the price tag: $527 million in cash and Zynga stock. That makes this the company’s largest acquisition to date—more than twice its OMGPOP buyout. And two, it signals a change of direction for the game-maker… Read More

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