Buyout

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 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.

Apple buys machine learning startup Tuplejump

Apple has acquired an India/US-based machine learning startup known as Tuplejump, reports TechCrunch. The company has essentially confirmed the buyout, offering up its typical “Apple buys smaller technology companies” statement.

This is the iPhone-maker’s third publicly-known purchase of a machine learning company within the last year. Remember it bought out artificial intelligence startup Perceptio at the end of last year, and Seattle-based Turi a few months ago.

Apple acquires AI startup Turi for a reported $200 million

Apple has acquired machine learning and artificial intelligence startup Turi, reports GeekWire. Citing sources close to the deal, the outlet says the purchase price was somewhere in the neighborhood of $200 million, and the team will stay on and continue its work.

Turi, formerly Dato, builds platforms for developing intelligent applications using machine learning technology. Its products are used by a number of Fortune 500 companies for fraud detection, recommendation engines, lead scoring and other predictive capabilities.

NYT music reporter claims Apple won’t be acquiring Tidal after all

The Wall Street Journal ran a story yesterday claiming that Apple was in “exploratory talks” to acquire music service Tidal, which rap mogul Jay-Z bought in March 2015 for a reported $56 million.

Ostensibly, Apple’s interest in Tidal revolves around its strong ties to artists: since the Jay-Z deal, Tidal has given 19 famous artists small stakes in the firm.

The Journal article cautioned that the current discussions might not result in a deal and now Ben Sisario, a music reporter at The New York Times, cited “two highly placed sources” as saying that Apple won’t be buying Tidal anytime soon.

Apple said to be in talks to acquire streaming music service Tidal

Apple is in talks to acquire the streaming music service Tidal, reports The Wall Street Journal. Citing people familiar with the matter, the outlet says the iPhone-maker is exploring the idea because of the service’s strong ties to artists.

Rap mogul Jay-Z bought Tidal in March 2015 for $56 million, and has since given 19 famous artists small stakes in the company. The current talks with Apple may not result in a deal, and it’s unknown what terms have been discussed.

Facebook acquires company behind popular face swapping app MSQRD

Facebook on Wednesday announced that it has acquired the popular face swapping app MSQRD, and the company behind it, Masquerade. The terms of the deal are unknown, but it’s being reported that the founders will be joining Facebook.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with the app, MSQRD allows you to apply various filters and effects to your photos and videos—not unlike Snapchat’s ‘lenses.’ You can apply masks, hats and other accessories, or simply swap faces with others.

Foxconn to acquire Sharp for $6.2 billion

Apple partner Foxconn is set to acquire Sharp for roughly 700 billion yen (or $6.2 billion USD), reports Nikkei Asian Review. The outlet says that Sharp’s board voted on Thursday morning to accept the offer, and plans to restructure its operations under the Hon Hai umbrella.

The deal, which has not been officially announced yet, comes after years of failed negotiations between the two companies. Foxconn has made several attempts to acquire the struggling electronics giant, or large pieces of it, with the latest offer of $5.3 billion coming in January.

SwiftKey acquired by Microsoft for $250 million

Microsoft is buying out software keyboard maker SwiftKey, according to a report from The Financial Times. The deal is said to be worth $250 million, and the two companies are expected to officially announce the acquisition later this week.

While Microsoft has shown interest in the mobile keyboard space, the report claims that the purchase is all about AI. SwiftKey uses artificial intelligence to predict the next word a user is going to type based on an analysis of their writing style.

Zagg acquires battery case maker Mophie for $100 million

Zagg has acquired popular battery case maker Mophie, the two companies announced on Tuesday. The Utah-based accessory giant has agreed to pay $100 million for Mophie, plus any EBITDA adjustments over that amount for the next year, in cash and debt.

In a press release sent out this afternoon, Zagg said that the transaction will leverage the unique strength of two “industry leaders” in the mobile accessories sector to create a business with greater product diversification and improved operational capabilities.