Acquisitions

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.

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.

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.

Samsung to buy Harman for $8 billion

Galaxy maker Samsung today announced it is purchasing Harman International for $112.00 per share in cash in a deal valued at approximately $8 billion. If the deal goes through, it’ll be Samsung’s largest acquisition to date. With the purchase of Harman Samsung is essentially buying a competitive advantage as it looks to take on Apple’s rumored Project Titan and the CarPlay platform, Android Auto and other automotive systems.

AT&T announces buying Time Warner as it looks to compete nationwide with cable companies

Following reports that AT&T, the nation’s second-largest wireless carrier, held talks regarding a possible acquisition of Time Warner, AT&T has now formally confirmed that it will be purchasing the entertainment conglomerate in a stock-and-cash transaction valued at $107.50 per share. The purchase price implies a total equity value of $85.4 billion and a total transaction value of $108.7 billion.

The agreement has been approved unanimously by the boards of directors of both companies. It gives AT&T access to Time Warner’s precious media properties like CNN, HBO, TNT and Warner Bros, as well as films like Harry Potter, Batman, Superman and next-generation super hero movies being developed by DC Comics.

The blockbuster merger, pending regulatory approval and closing before year-end 2017, will create a unique company that’ll “define the future of media and communications”.

AT&T to buy Time Warner for a reported $80 billion

U.S. wireless carrier is buying media entertainment conglomerate Time Warner for a reported $80 billion as consolidation continues in media and technology industries. AT&T has reportedly agreed to pay $107.50 a share in a half-cash, half-stock deal, The Wall Street Journal reported Saturday. Time Warner, which does not have a controlling shareholder, reported $28 billion in 2015 revenue.

The media giant had a market capitalization of $68 billion before rumors of a possible takeover bid. AT&T currently has a market capitalization of more than $230 billion.

Apple recently approached Time Warner about takeover bid, now “monitoring” AT&T talks

AT&T, the second-largest carrier in the United States, is in advanced talks with media giant Time Warner about a possible merger and Apple “is now monitoring the situation”, people familiar with the matter told the Wall Street Journal. The Cupertino-based gadget maker was first mentioned as a possible suitor for a Time Warner takeover back in January of this year.

According to WSJ, Apple a few months ago approached Time Warner “about pursuing a combination”, but the discussions didn’t progress “beyond a preliminary stage.”

Samsung buying Viv, the AI assistant developed by Siri creators

Samsung has agreed to acquire Viv, the next-gen AI assistant that was developed by Siri co-founders Dag Kittlaus and Adam Cheyer. TechCrunch reports that it will continue to operate as an independent company, providing services to Samsung and its platforms.

Viv made numerous headlines earlier this year, when the team demonstrated the power of its assistant. In one scenario, it was able to successfully order a pizza over the Internet customized with toppings from several employees with a few simple voice commands.

Spotify said to be in advanced talks to buy SoundCloud

Spotify is in advanced talks to acquire SoundCloud, reports the Financial Times. The streaming music service believes the buyout could help it better compete with competitors like Apple Music thanks to its large library of exclusive and user-created content.