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Facebook Floats Idea of Buying Drone Maker
March 04, 2014
Facebook reportedly is in talks to buy drone maker Titan Aerospace to bolster Internet.org, the project that aims to provide Internet connectivity everywhere in the world. Facebook, which is one of the main backers of Internet.org, may buy Titan for $60 million. Titan builds near-orbital solar-powered drones that can fly for five years before needing to land.
eBay Places Heavy Bet on Snapdeal
February 27, 2014
eBay on Wednesday announced it was leading a $134 million investment in Snapdeal, which claims to be India's largest e-commerce marketplace. eBay's first investment in Snapdeal came in mid-2013, when it poured $50 million into the company. Snapdeal merited additional financing because of its complementary business model and strong overall brand, eBay said.
Netflix, Comcast Get Better Connected
February 24, 2014
Netflix users who subscribe to Comcast Internet services soon may see much smoother streaming video. The companies have agreed to a "mutually beneficial interconnection agreement" with the goal of giving Comcast's U.S. broadband customers a high-quality experience when using Netflix's streaming video service. The companies have collaborated for several months to institute more direct connections.
How Facebook Got Snookered in WhatsApp Deal
February 24, 2014
It's not often I see news that surprises me, but Facebook paying nearly $20 billion for an instant messaging app had me scratching my head. People have been paying too much for properties for some time, but this is crazy money for a class of product that stopped being trendy nearly a decade ago. I've come up with three reasons, none of which are mutually exclusive, as to how Facebook was tricked.
Google Gets Spider.io to Take a Bite Out of Click-Fraud
February 24, 2014
Google on Friday announced its purchase of online ad fraud fighter Spider.io. It initially will include Spider's fraud detection technology in its video and display ad products. Over time, Google will incorporate Spider's iFramed ads view technology in its products. "This is an excellent move for Google," said Mukul Krishna, senior global director of digital media at Frost & Sullivan.
Facebook Wins WhatsApp Gold
February 20, 2014
Facebook on Wednesday announced the acquisition of WhatsApp in a $19 billion deal geared toward increasing its global connectivity. The company paid $4 billion in cash, $12 billion worth of Facebook shares and an additional $3 billion in restricted stock to acquire WhatsApp. Facebook was drawn to the company's ability not only to connect mobile users worldwide, but also to sustain rapid growth.
WhatsApp Gives BlackBerry a Bounce
February 20, 2014
Facebook's $19 billion purchase of mobile-messaging service WhatsApp appears to have buoyed the value of BlackBerry Messenger -- and by extension, BlackBerry. BlackBerry shares went up nearly 10 percent in after-hours trading because, in the words of Reuters, Facebook's purchase "put a rough valuation metric around the smartphone maker's own BlackBerry Messaging service," also known as "BBM."
Comcast-TWC Merger Is All About Investors
February 20, 2014
What's most unexpected about the acquisition of Time Warner Cable is that the buyer is Comcast. Will the regulators give their blessing or block the deal? If approved, what changes can we expect as investors, customers and workers? If it is not approved, then what comes next? The cable television industry is completely different today from 10 years ago.
Comcast-TWC Customers: Be Afraid, Very Afraid
February 19, 2014
While federal regulators mull the possible antitrust ramifications of the proposed $45 billion merger between Comcast and Time Warner Cable, the companies' customers also are considering the fallout from this deal. Both companies have a reputation for poor customer service, and the fear is that a combination of the conglomerates may result in the achievement of a new low.
HP Struggles With Autonomy's Sticky Wicket
February 18, 2014
HP's problems following its 2011 purchase of Autonomy for $11.1 billion are getting worse. Various documents reportedly indicate HP knew about the existence of loss-making hardware sales Autonomy allegedly used to bolster its revenue figures well before May 2012, when HP claimed to learn about them from a whistleblower. Former Autonomy CEO Michael Lynch insists Autonomy did nothing wrong.
High-Tech Suits a Suspect in Weak US Speedskating Performance
February 14, 2014
The U.S. speedskating team's high-tech suits -- which theoretically are supposed to help shave seconds and accrue medals -- have been identified as a suspect in the team's stunning faceplant at the Sochi Games. Before the Games, the suits, designed by U.S.-based sportswear giant Under Armour, were deemed to be on the cutting edge of racing technology.
Naysayers Wring Hands Over Comcast-TWC Merger
February 13, 2014
After months of being courted by both Comcast and Charter Communications, Time Warner Cable has agreed to be purchased by Comcast for $45.2 billion in stock. The deal, if approved by the United States Department of Justice and the U.S. Federal Communications Commission, will create the biggest broadband provider in the country, with 33 million customers.
Mayer Moves Search Higher on Yahoo's To-Do List
February 12, 2014
Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer has been more active than a kid on a sugar high. The company on Wednesday announced a partnership with Carnegie Mellon University to advance personalization and mobile technologies. On the same day, Mayer told employees that Yahoo would be partnering with Yelp. Mayer on Tuesday said she was keen on contextual search, speaking at a conference in San Francisco.
Google's Got a Robot Friend in Foxconn
February 11, 2014
Google reportedly has partnered with Foxconn to advance its foray into robotics. Foxconn is widely known as the manufacturer of most of Apple's iPhones and iPads. The firm apparently now is working with Google. Last year, former Android chief Andy Rubin switched gears to lead development of Google's robotics initiatives. Foxconn Chairman Terry Gou recently met with Rubin in Taipei.
Google's Long European Antitrust Nightmare May Be Over
February 06, 2014
It looks like Google and European regulators have, at long last, reached a settlement to allay antitrust concerns. Google has struck a deal with EC competition regulators, which now awaits formal approval. Under the terms laid out, Google would have to swallow its stiffest-ever antitrust penalties, but it would nonetheless avoid a finding of wrongdoing and a potentially massive fine.
Google Dodges EU Antitrust Bullet
February 05, 2014
The European Commission has accepted Google's latest proposal to settle a probe of its practices pending agreement with the 125 companies and organizations that filed complaints against the Internet giant. Google last week made its third settlement offer, following a warning from the Commission on Jan. 15 that it would take action if the issue were not resolved soon.
Betting Big Bucks on the Real Omnichannel Deal
February 04, 2014
CRM vendors for years have been acknowledging the need for omnichannel support while bending over backwards to explain how their particular applications or product suites excelled at providing that missing link. A funny thing began to happen at the end of the 20th century. Instead of talking about it, CRM vendors started doing something about it. One by one, they made some strategic acquisitions.
Sprint Chairman Goes Knocking at FCC's Door
February 03, 2014
Sprint Chairman Masayoshi Son reportedly was scheduled to meet with the FCC on Monday to discuss a possible purchase of T-Mobile, although the DoJ already has signaled its opposition. Both U.S. government bodies would have to approve of a merger, but they would view it from different perspectives. Son is CEO of Japan's Softbank, which purchased 78 percent of Sprint last July.
Lenovo Takes a Page From Steve Jobs' Playbook
February 03, 2014
If you look back at what Steve Jobs did, he took a hard look at Porsche and Sony, and then he effectively built a better Sony. As Apple's star rose, Sony's star crashed, but Jobs never targeted Sony directly. He just figured out what Sony wasn't doing right, and he did that extremely well while Sony lost its way. He didn't copy Sony's products, he copied its mission.
IBM, Lenovo Deal Is All About Winning
January 31, 2014
Lenovo Group's $2.3 billion deal to purchase IBM's low-end, commodity x86 Server portfolios, related resources and operations is an all-around win for everyone involved. The sale of the IBM x86 servers has been rumored for well over a year, as Big Blue grappled with continuing pressure on its low-margin x86 servers. In its most recent quarter, IBM's revenue dropped 5.5 percent to $27.7 billion.

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