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acquisition

Google believed to be in talks to acquire music streaming service Songza

Google Logo

Google Logo

According to a report, Google could be looking to acquire popular music streaming service Songza for an undisclosed amount. The reasoning behind this is unknown at the moment as Google already has a music streaming service of its own (Play Music All Access). But it’s possible that the company is looking to strengthen its reach even further in the business.

The  specifics of this deal are not known at the moment, but we could get official confirmation soon if these reports materialize. Unlike conventional music streaming services, Songza is a little different as it can provide specific recommendations based on the user’s activity such as while in the gym or at the office. The service reportedly has about 10 million subscribers, so perhaps Google wants a slice of that as well.

It’s too early to comment on the deal as either company is yet to come out in the open and confirm, but we think it’s pretty much on the cards. What’s your take on this deal, will it ever materialize?

Source: New York Post

T-Mobile is reportedly asking for $1 billion in breakup fees if the Sprint deal doesn’t get approved

T-Mobile Store

Sprint and Softbank have been trying to snatch up T-Mobile from the past few months now. And they have faced several authoritative hurdles along the way, which have cast a dark shadow over the future of this deal. Softbank CEO has been particularly clear that they wouldn’t want the deal to fail which would cost them a lot of money in breakup fees. But T-Mobile is now reportedly asking the two carriers to pay $1 billion if the deal doesn’t go through, which is something the Softbank CEO wanted to avoid in the first place.

Sprint and its parent company Softbank have been particularly keen on placing a bid for the acquisition, but only after making sure that it will be approved. Their most recent meeting with the authorities didn’t go as planned and with T-Mobile now demanding a breakup fee in case things go awry, the two carriers are in a spot of bother. AT&T had to pay T-Mobile $3 billion in breakup fees when their proposed acquisition wasn’t approved a couple of years ago, so Sprint and Softbank would want to avoid such a situation as neither carrier can afford to lose money in this economic climate.

It will be interesting to see how things pan out in the coming months and if Sprint and Softbank will stand down from the acquisition fearing hefty breakup fees.

Source: The Wall Street Journal

Via: Android Authority

Verizon acquires two minor regional carriers for its spectrum needs

Verizon Wireless

Verizon Wireless has been busy acquiring small time regional carriers across the U.S. to increase its spectrum. We recently saw the carrier acquire spectrum from Cincinnati Bell. And now, the carrier is looking to snatch spectrum from California based Golden State Cellular and Mobi PCS from Hawaii.

Verizon has already filed the necessary documentation with the FCC for the acquisition to go through. Of course, the buyout is yet to be approved by FCC, but we don’t see it facing any authoritative hurdles as there’s no conflicts involved.

The acquisition of California’s Golden State Cellular will give VZW control over its assets, spectrum as well as subscribers from the counties of Amador, Alpine, Calaveras, Tuolumne and Mariposa in California. From Mobi PCS in Hawaii, Verizon will attain the 20-30 MHz spectrum and eventually lend 10 MHz spectrum back to help Mobi PCS gradually exit the mobile market.

Golden State Cellular has over 18,000 customers in the region who will be switched over to Verizon in about 15 months post the closing of the deal.

Source: Fierce Wireless

Via: Phone Scoop

Twitter now owns the popular Cover lockscreen app

Cover App Twitter

Cover App Twitter

Twitter Inc has just acquired popular Android lockscreen app Cover for an undisclosed amount. Usually an acquisition like this wouldn’t make much of a difference to the customers, but since Twitter has a bad history of acquiring companies and shutting them down, the users are beginning to get a little worried.

Cover lockscreen is basically a replacement to your stock launcher and it enables you to access a wide range of apps right within the lockscreen. It learns overtime, so users can only get access to the most used apps on the lockscreen. This is ideal for midrange devices which don’t traditionally come with stable stock launchers. If you haven’t downloaded Cover before, it might be worth a try now.

The Cover team said the following in a press statement – “Twitter, like Cover, believes in the incredible potential of Android. They share our vision that smartphones can be a lot smarter — more useful and more contextual — and together we’re going to make that happen. We’ll be building upon a lot of what makes Cover great, and we’re thrilled to create something even better at Twitter.”

Source: Cover

Via: Mobile Syrup

Report states that Sprint’s acquisition of T-Mobile unlikely to happen

T-Mobile Logo

T-Mobile Logo

The CEO of Deutsche Telekom (parent company of T-Mobile USA), Timotheus Hoettges has mentioned that the merger of T-Mobile and Sprint is unlikely to go through due to regulatory obstacles that lie ahead of them.

It was recently revealed that the FCC wasn’t really convinced with Sprint acquiring T-Mobile, so the CEO’s words don’t come as a surprise. T-Mobile on the other hand is reportedly open to other offers.

Neither carrier can afford for the deal to be shut off after the bid is disclosed, as it would result in major losses for the carriers. This is something which happened when the AT&T/T-Mobile merger fell through due to lack of support from the regulators. Hoettges seemingly has deeper plans for T-Mobile in the U.S., where he will reportedly discuss with the regulators to offer the carrier a bigger chunk of the spectrum during the next auction.

So it seems like T-Mobile will have to run on its own for the foreseeable future, which might not really be a bad idea given the carrier’s massive popularity in the U.S.

Source: Bloomberg

Via: BGR

Google, Motorola, Lenovo and Samsung: The Motivation Behind an Unexpected Deal

If anyone had told me six months, 12 months, 18 months back that everyone involved in or passionate for mobile technology would be raving about Lenovo today, I’d have probably called them crazy. Drunk. High. Stupid.

Lenovo-Motorola-logos

I mean, who is Lenovo after all? The global PC market’s silver medalists two years in a row and the new leaders starting in the second quarter of 2013, sure, but they don’t know the first thing about phones, smartphones or Android. Or so it seemed.

The deal of the century: context and background

Basically, since HP and Dell’s efforts to break into the mainstream mobile décor failed so miserably, why should we have expected any better from Lenovo? Well, I’ll tell you why. It has a little to do with their headquarters’ location and a lot with the Chinese government’s involvement in the company’s management.

Lenovo-Motorola-deal

Technically, Lenovo is a private enterprise, but on the down low, word has it domestic political authorities control it. So what does that have to do with anything? Let’s just say, if the world’s second-largest economy by nominal total GDP and the number one exporter and importer of goods wants to take charge of a certain market bad enough, it’ll find ways.

Lenovo’s quest for world domination

First try, a BlackBerry acquisition. Cut off by the Canadian government, yet key for Lenovo’s decision to ultimately go after an Android juggernaut. Or, in Motorola’s case, a former juggernaut yearning for the fame, respect and financial prosperity of time passed.

Shocking move? Only if you underestimated Lenovo based on their mobile track record so far. Which, by the by, is not as bad as people think. Granted, folks on the Western hemisphere are unlikely to have ever seen, touched or held a smaller Lenovo gizmo than, say, a ThinkPad laptop, but the OEM’s Asian sales helped it reach global number four in Q4 2013.

Lenovo-Motorola-2

Ahead of, you guessed it, Motorola and behind Samsung, Apple and Huawei. Added together, Lenovo and Moto’s shares take the two-headed enterprise to the last spot on the podium, albeit still well behind the two frontrunners.

Lenovo’s motivation

Need me to spell it out for you? Fine. Regardless of how ambitious or apt for success Lenovo’s execs and employees might be, in spite of their computer expertise (which make no mistake, counts when smartphones are less phones and more tiny PCs), and how they can probably already build better hardware than Moto at lower costs, they’d have never made it stateside sans the backing of a brand Westerners recognize and somewhat trust.

Of course, Motorola isn’t the ideal “partner”. Its reputation has taken hit after hit in recent years, until Google bought it and in part turned things around, thanks to the unsung hero that is the Moto X and the outlandishly cheap, ridiculously solid G.

Lenovo-Motorola

So you see, when Larry Page started to ask around about potential buyers, Lenovo couldn’t have missed the opportunity. Especially as the purchase costs are ridiculously low compared with the prospects. $2.91 billion, of which just $660 million cash upfront? Frigging Nest was pricier, at $3.2 billion.

Google’s motivation

Sounds a little like Google got the short end of the stick there, huh? After all, the search giant secured Motorola for a whopping $12.5B in 2011, plus between then and now, Moto’s revenues accounted for extra losses of hundreds of millions.

Now I’m not great at math, but overall Big G lost roughly… a gazillion smackeroos. Or did it? Well, not quite. First of all, the point of Google’s initial purchase was not to build exceptional hardware with Moto’s aid. It was to seize a cluster of patents, which were essential for avoiding lawsuits like the ones Apple and Samsung continue to be involved in.

google-motorola-patents

Of those patents, Lenovo will only get a small part. Presumably, the less valuable papers. That’s one. Also, the Advanced Technology group and Project Ara are staying in Mountain View. Not sure exactly how much they’re worth, but they must benefit Larry Page & co. somehow.

Let’s keep in mind Google unloaded Moto’s set-top box unit a while ago too, for north of $2 billion. So all in all, the losses are not so extreme. But more than the financial aspect, the Samsung factor was likely crucial in the decision to go through with the deal now, almost at all costs.

Samsung’s motivation

Wait, why was Samsung a factor again? It’s simple, really. When Google began to directly invest in hardware manufacturing through Motorola, several third-party Android device makers, including Samsung, rebelled.

samsung-tizen

How can we expect Google to treat us all the same software support-wise when they have a skin in the hardware game, they asked. Due to its power as the world’s undisputed heavyweight smartphone champ, Samsung was however the only player capable of getting Mountain View to listen.

And they did, putting a lot of pressure on Android with rumored Tizen development. At the end of the day, Google couldn’t risk losing its one big client, so instead, it sacrificed Motorola. Was that the plan all along?

Maybe, as again, Moto’s appeal lied in its patent portfolio first and foremost. But it’s not entirely out of the question for Page, Brin and the others to have actually considered following up themselves on the Moto X and G’s somewhat unexpected success.

samsung-galaxy-s4-google-play-edition

Now let’s hope the $50 phone is still coming, along with a series of Moto Maker customizable tablets and X and G sequels. No matter who designs them or where they are built.

As for Samsung, the Tizen nonsense is almost definitely a thing of the past, so fingers crossed for the love affair with Google to last and result in TouchWiz’s death. Google Play Edition Samsung Galaxies for the win!

T-Mobile could soon be acquired by Japanese telecommunications giant SoftBank

T-Mobile SoftBank

T-Mobile SoftBankWhile most of us are busy speculating about T-Mobile’s new Uncarrier 4.0 plan which is to be shown off at the CES, it is believed that the carrier could soon be acquired by Japanese telecommunications company SoftBank. It is being said that the two companies are currently discussing funding, and we should hopefully have a word on the status soon.

According to reports, this deal could be worth over $20 billion. Some might feel that’s not a lot for a company like T-Mobile which is considered to be one of the most people friendly carriers in the U.S. The deal is far from being finalized though as the American regulators will have to give the final go ahead for the deal. Interestingly, the amount being offered here is almost half as much as what AT&T offered in 2011, which was about $39 billion, but since SoftBank is said to be in quite a lot of debt already, the agreed amount has come down substantially.

According to a banking source in Tokyo quoted by The Chicago Tribune – “More than the financial and funding aspects, there are likely concerns in the United States about how much Son, head of a foreign company, can really open up mobile infrastructure there, and whether the deal would obstruct healthy competition“.

Source: The Chicago Tribune

Path approaches a $1 billion valuation

path

Path

Path the private social network is raising some more funds to keep the lights on in the offices as it were, the company could receive a valuation as high as $1 billion. According to some sources the company is looking for $75 to $100 million in investment in this round of funding. The private social network has had a high growth period in the past few months but it is yet to attract any investment from financing companies.

The company has been reported in having something up it’s sleeve if they don’t get investment soon, this tactic is rumoured to be Path seeking to be acquired, Path has raised $42 million up to now. The service has 12 million users and was founded by a former Facebook employee, but lately there has been some controversy around the service since they were accused of spamming their users.

Path just last year was valued at $250 million when they were seeking to raise $30 million, Google offered to buy the company back in 2011 for $100 million so a valuation of $1 billion would be a massive leap for the service. Like any of the Mark Zuckerbergs of the world the founder of the company turned down the offer in favor of raising more money for the service.

Source: TechCrunch

Adobe Acquires Ideacodes

Adobe

Adobe

Adobe has acquired a company by the name of Ideacodes, this acquisition makes it the third design focused acquisition that Adobe has made in the past six months. Adobe announce their new acquisition on Tuesday, the company will join Adobe’s Creative Cloud team. Adobe is moving from their old business model of selling packaged software to selling their creative suite through a subscription in the cloud, this will also open up cloud syncing for your files.

There has been no information on how much Adobe spent acquiring Ideacodes but we can speculate that it will be a few hundred million, Adobe spent $150 million on acquiring Behance back in December of 2012. Adobe have been integrating there last to purchases in to the company. There have been worries expressed by creators that the subscription model will effect everyday consumer creators, but Adobe needed to incorporate the cloud in someway so they would not be left behind.

The acquisitions that Adobe has been making show that they are trying to stay on top for as long as they can, unchallenged. The move to the cloud will elongate their time at the top spot and as long as they keep innovating and changing their products for the better they will stay at the top spot for the foreseeable future.

Source – Gigaom

Yahoo willing to spend upto $800 million on Hulu

yahoo1

As you might think after a big acquisition companies might want to hold back on the spending for a while to keep the accountants happy, not Yahoo. Reports have said that they are willing to pony up $800 million to acquire Hulu a video streaming site which is currently owned by Disney, Fox and NBC Universal.

The acquisition of Tumblr was to bring Yahoo a demographic; the company is going through a series of drastic changes at the moment. Yahoo has cut services that aren’t bringing in much traffic to the site; Yahoo has also released their own search, mail and weather apps for iOS and Android. These are all moves to bringing in more users and the acquisition of Tumblr and Hulu will help that happen.

Hulu is only as valuable as the content licenses that are signed over with the company; the exclusive content is why Hulus users pay their monthly subscription fee. Services like Hulu are very popular amongst the cable-cutting portion of society that doesn’t want to pay for channels that they won’t watch.

Hulus users are attracted to this service because they get access to the content the day after it airs on TV; if the content licenses that are granted state that Yahoo has to wait longer before they publish the content then they will lose a large portion of their users.

Source – VentureBeat

Tumblr CEO feels the $1.1 billion offer from Yahoo is too low

Tumblr

Tumblr CEO David Karp has said that he thinks the amount that Yahoo wants to lay down for the acquisition of the blogging service, the amount that the Yahoo board have officially agreed upon that they are willing to spend on acquiring the company is $1.1 billion. Not too shabby for the company, if they accept the offer they will have beaten Instagram for the highest acquisition fee paid out in silicon valley in the past year.

How much is Tumblr Actually Worth

Tumblr has been valued by an independent source at around $800 million, this has lead some commentators to question Yahoo’s action in laying down a huge amount of money just for the demographic of 18 to 14 year olds. The Instagram acquisition had many possible buyers such as Twitter, where as this offer by Yahoo is the only offer on the table at this present time. The offer of a little over one billion won’t go higher and if Tumblr rejects it I doubt they’ll get another like it.

The blogging service has been surviving off of it’s $125 million is funding for a tad too long with out finding a sustainable channel for revenue or try to get more rounds of funding. When Yahoo’s window of opportunity runs out Facebook and Microsoft are two potential companies to make an offer but probably not as much as Yahoo’s stab in the dark offer.

No to Acquisition, Yes to Advertising 

Tumblr could go it alone by adding some form of advertising to their service, but Karp has said that advertising “really turns our stomachs” which is a fundamental problem with there business model of just living of off funding. Tumblr attracts a mind boggling amount of traffic and this it is just nonsensical not to capitalize on the traffic they regularly bring in, just so the company didn’t have to rely on outside investment to keep the lights on.

To illustrate the amount of traffic Tumblr gets it is the ninth most visited site in the U.S, and it has a whopping 217 million unique visitors world wide every month and 74 million psts are made each day. The site has a lot of room for growth even though it is massively popular already.

There are rumours that Tumblr will bite the bullet and introduce a pay-per view system later this year; the system will work by paying to get others to view, so like a recommendation bar or something to that affect.

Source – VentureBeat

Twitter acquires Ubalo

Ubalo

Twitter is in the midst of shopping spree, but not for conventional goods Twitter has something larger to fill they’re shopping basket – startups. Their newest acquisition is a company called Ubalo which specialize in early-stage numerical computing, this comes after acquiring the company We Are Hunted and turning that into what is now Twitter music.

Announcing the Acquisition and Ubalo from Launch til Now

The news broke of the acquisition via Ubalo CEO Jacob  Mattingly and CTO Ian Downes announced posting on their blog that Twitter had agreed to acquire the technology they’ve be working on for the past two years and the small Ubalo team. The very modest four person team will join the Twitter employees, we’ll just have to wait and see what new product Twitter comes out with next.

Ubalo is a fairly new startup with funding from Harrison Metal Capital they launched in 2011, they set out to change the way users run their code across a large computing environments. Ubalo has had some experience with Twitter, one of their case studies dealt with collecting tweets and sorting them into categories based on various topics, this task took the startup twenty one seconds to complete.

Another Ubalo case study saw the company process 25,000 tweets and analyze them in just under nineteen seconds needless to say the company isn’t short of processing power, this acquisition will become one of the most useful to Twitter to date.

Press Release and Fitting into Twitter

As of yet there has been no comment on the status of where the Ubalo staff will be placed within the social networking sites departments, but they are most likely to join the infrastructure of the company or will be placed in the engineering segment.

In a press release from Ubalo they said “When we met the infrastructure folks at Twitter, we realized that it’s a company with brilliant people, strong momentum, exciting challenges and a promising future. We quickly became enthusiastic about the possibility of collaborating with them and the impact we could have there.”

Source – TechCrunch 

Dropbox Acquires Photo Sharing Service Snapjoy

snapjoy-logo

Dropbox has been very active since the past few days. It recently acquired music streaming service AudioGalaxy which led us to believe that it had something in store for the cloud music crowd. This made a lot of sense especially since Dropbox is already a big name in the cloud storage industry with a large user base to brag of. And now the company has acquired a photo sharing service called Snapjoy which is a great alternative to the likes of Picasa, Flickr etc. The service basically lets users view all their photos on different services and devices right under one app. It seems like Dropbox is looking towards a massive expansion, considering it has over 100 million users on its cloud storage service. Details are very scarce as of now, but we’ll know more about Dropbox’s plans in the coming days.

With Instagram and party currently ruling the photo sharing biz, it’s going to be hard for a new name to make an impact. But if Dropbox plays its cards right, we could see a new name emerge in the industry. There’s no clear information about the exact deal between the two services and how much money was involved, but the news has been confirmed by Snapjoy on its official blog. The app came to the fore in May 2011, and the creators should be pretty pumped up on being acquired already. The CEO of Snapjoy mentioned that the service had other interested buyers too. So it seems like Snapjoy had made quite a splash with potential buyers. The folks at Snapjoy assured existing users that their photos were absolutely safe, although new users weren’t able to sign up for the service ever since the acquisition was announced. It will now depend on Dropbox and Snapjoy to work in co-ordination to bring a neat little photo storage service to rival the likes of Flickr, Picasa and Instagram.

Dropbox is certainly very ambitious, and rightly so given its credentials in the field. It is currently leading the pack when it comes to cloud storage services which includes SkyDrive, Google Drive, and Apple’s iCloud among others. With Audio Galaxy under its belt as well, Dropbox has certainly announced itself as a major player in the cloud services arena and not just limiting itself to plain storage. Of course, Dropbox hasn’t made any of these plans public but these acquisitions couldn’t mean anything else.

Source: Snapjoy
Via: Tech Crunch

Popular HootSuite Platform Has Acquired Seesmic

After a fairly popular and long run on the Android platform, Seesmic has been fully acquired by HootSuite (another Twitter platform). Don’t worry though Seesmic users, HootSuite has promised Seesmic users that they’ll continue supporting the Seesmic application, but business users of the application will be getting moved over to HootSuite’s offering. Both CEO’s sound very happy and excited about how all of this worked out. They both seem to really respect each other very much. That said, the acquisition seemed to go very smooth with both CEO’s excited about the move.

“I have always had a lot of respect for Seesmic’s CEO, Loïc Le Meur and the role Seesmic has played in advancing social business.” said HootSuite CEO, Ryan Holmes. “We are thrilled to welcome Seesmic’s users into the HootSuite family.”

“We’ve always been big fans of Ryan Holmes and the HootSuite team, since the days we were all pioneering the Social Media landscape. We’re thrilled today to announce that Seesmic is joining HootSuite, and we’re excited for our users: they are becoming part of the HootSuite family, and they will be able

Both companies are very large when it comes to the social media scene, not only that, but their products are fantastic for both the everyday consumers along with business users and pros within the social media industry. Even though Twitter is the main focus of the two applications, HootSuite offers tools for other platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn, Foursquare and a few other social networks too. Which is a pretty big reason why people like the app. Having all of your social networks in one spot really helps with productivity. I personally have used neither HootSuite or Seesmic, so I can’t comment on tools that Seesmic has compared to HootSuite. I tend to just stick with the native Twitter application after it’s last redesign of the applications. Besides, with Twitter getting ready to murder all of the third party twitter applications, I think I may just stick with the native Twitter application instead of being disappointed when HootSuite and Seesmic get shut down by the company. If they find a way to avoid that though, I wouldn’t mind giving it a try as many people really like both HootSuite and Seesmic.

Do you guys think that this acquisition with HootSuite was a good move? Is it going to be benefiting anyone? I personally didn’t see a need for the move based off of the information that was given. Unless their were any sort of financial issues, I really just don’t see why the move was necessary. No matter though, the move sounds like it went well and everybody is happy.

Any thoughts on the move? As a business user with Seesmic, has this affected you drastically at all or do thing seem to be the same? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

source: android central