AOL sells 800 patents to Microsoft in $1 billion deal

By on April 9, 2012 at 8:40 AM.

AOL sells 800 patents to Microsoft in $1 billion deal

AOL and Microsoft on Monday announced an agreement in which the software giant will purchase 800 patents from AOL in a $1.056 billion cash deal. Microsoft will also license more than 300 additional patents from AOL as part of the agreement. “The agreement with Microsoft represents the culmination of a robust auction process for our patent portfolio,” said Tim Armstrong, AOL’s chairman and CEO. “We continue to hold a valuable patent portfolio as highlighted by the license we entered into with Microsoft. The combined sale and licensing arrangement unlocks current dollar value for our shareholders and enables AOL to continue to aggressively execute on our strategy to create long-term shareholder value.” The portfolio sold relates to advertising, search, content generation and management, social networking, mapping, multimedia/streaming and security. The sale is expected to be completed by the end of 2012, pending regulatory approval. Read on for AOL’s press release. More →

No Comments

Sprint to end deal with LightSquared, report claims

By on March 7, 2012 at 12:00 PM.

Sprint to end deal with LightSquared, report claims

Sprint is reportedly planning to walk away from its planned network-sharing deal with LightSquared as early as next week, Bloomberg reported on Wednesday. Sprint and LightSquared in June agreed to an 11-year deal that would share network expansion costs and equipment if LightSquared could secure regulatory approval for its 4G LTE network build-out. The carrier first gave LightSquared until the end of 2011 to receive FCC approval, and then extended the deadline to March 15th. The FCC blocked LightSquared’s LTE network in February, however, due to concerns that it was interfering with GPS systems. Meanwhile, LightSquared repeatedly claimed that the blame lies with the GPS industry. According to the Bloomberg’s sources, Sprint has no plans to extend the March 15th deadline and will instead kill its deal with LightSquared. Sprint is expected to return $74 million of the $310 million it has collected from LightSquared so far once the deal is terminated. More →

No Comments

Amazon announces content agreement with Viacom for Kindle Fire, Prime customers

By on February 8, 2012 at 3:30 PM.

Amazon announces content agreement with Viacom for Kindle Fire, Prime customers

Amazon on Wednesday announced that it has entered into a new agreement with Viacom to provide a larger selection of television content to its Kindle Fire and Amazon Prime customers. Under the deal, Amazon’s customers will have access to episodes of The Real World, Chapelle’s Show and the The Sarah Silverman Program from Comedy Central, as well as a number of hit shows from Nickelodeon. “This deal with Viacom brings Prime customers and Kindle Fire users thousands of comedies, kids’ shows, reality TV and much more from some of the best cable networks available,” Amazon’s director of video content acquisition Brad Beale said. “We now offer more than 15,000 movies and TV shows in Prime Instant Videos and are working hard to add even more great content.” Amazon’s full press release follows after the break. More →

No Comments

Nikesh Arora rumored to become Motorola CEO after acquisition

By on January 31, 2012 at 6:05 PM.

Nikesh Arora rumored to become Motorola CEO after acquisition

Nikesh Arora, Google’s SVP and Chief Business Officer, will run Motorola once the Google acquisition closes later this year, according to rumor published by Business Insider. Arora ran the company’s international business for Eric Schmidt, taking over the global business after the former CEO stepped down. Arora has reportedly been “agitating” for a CEO position and was included on a short list of candidates to head Yahoo. It is possible, however, that a promised CEO slot at Motorola could have prompted Arora to continue with Google. The rumor further notes that Dennis Woodside, Google’s current head of U.S. sales, will take over Arora’s current position. More →

No Comments

T-Mobile and AT&T apply for $1 billion spectrum transfer with FCC

By on January 23, 2012 at 5:40 PM.

T-Mobile and AT&T apply for $1 billion spectrum transfer with FCC

T-Mobile and AT&T have filed with the Federal Communications Commission to transfer $1 billion worth of AT&T’s AWS spectrum into T-Mobile USA’s ownership. AT&T previously promised the spectrum to Deutsche Telekom in the event that its bid to acquire T-Mobile USA failed. “This additional spectrum will help meet the growing demand for wireless broadband services,” Tom Sugrue, T-Mobile’s senior vice president for government affairs, told The Wall Street Journal. “We hope the FCC will move swiftly to approve the license assignments.” As The Wall Street Journal points out, T-Mobile desperately needs the spectrum in order to compete with Sprint, AT&T and Verizon Wireless. Each of those aforementioned carriers have already started to, or already have plans to, roll out faster 4G LTE networks this year. T-Mobile has not discussed any firm plans regarding how it will advance beyond its current HSPA+ network. More →

No Comments

Microsoft said to be strong-arming Pantech into patent licensing deal for Android devices

By on January 17, 2012 at 4:20 PM.

Microsoft said to be strong-arming Pantech into patent licensing deal for Android devices

Microsoft is said to be close to finalizing a patent-licensing deal with Pantech. Microsoft already has similar agreements in place with Samsung, HTC, ViewSonic and other Android vendors; the company was aggressive in seeking patent-licensing deals with Android vendors in 2011 and is currently fighting to establish a licensing deal with Barnes & Noble, which has accused the company of charging “exorbitant licensing fees” and has even asked the federal government to probe Microsoft’s actions. The pending deal with Pantech was first published by Yonhap News and terms of the agreement were not revealed. More →

No Comments

Sprint gives LightSquared 30 extra days to gain FCC clearance

By on January 3, 2012 at 7:15 AM.

Sprint gives LightSquared 30 extra days to gain FCC clearance

Sprint recently told LightSquared that it has an additional 30 days to gain approval from the Federal Communications Commission to launch its 4G LTE network. Sprint said in March that it would deploy part of its planned 4G LTE network using LightSquared’s 1600MHz frequency spectrum, but LightSquared has yet to prove to the FCC that adjustments to its network no longer interfere with GPS technology. Sprint originally gave LightSquared until December 31st to gain the approval, which The Wall Street Journal said is a condition of the 15-year partnership. On December 15th, the Department of Defense and the Department of Transportation both announced that they “still see an interference problem with the network.” LightSquared responded a few days later demanding approval from the FCC. “LightSquared has had FCC authorization to build its network for over eight years and that authorization was endorsed by the GPS industry, and fully reviewed and allowed to proceed by several other government agencies,” LightSquared’s executive vice president of regulatory affairs and public policy Jeff Carlisle said. “Commercial GPS device-makers have had nearly a decade to design and sell devices that do not infringe on LightSquared’s licensed spectrum. They have no right to complain in the eleventh-hour about incompatibility when they had ample opportunity to avoid this problem.” More →

No Comments

Intel inks deal with French NFC chip maker

By on December 14, 2011 at 11:45 PM.

Intel inks deal with French NFC chip maker

Intel doesn’t have much of a presence in the mobile phone market right now, but that could change soon. The Santa Clara-based company announced recently that it has reached a deal with Inside Secure in which the French chip maker will supply Intel with NFC chips for upcoming products. “We are highly interested in NFC but we are not announcing any product plans at this time,” an Intel spokeswoman told The Wall Street Journal, noting that Intel might include Inside Secure’s technology in future reference designs. Google Wallet emerged as one of the first NFC-based mobile payment systems to launch in the United States, but it’s only available on one handset, the Nexus S, and is only currently supported by Sprint. Verizon Wireless, T-Mobile and AT&T have invested in a joint initiative called ISIS that is only in the testing phase right now, although Verizon Communications CEO Lowell McAdam said ISIS will begin a “significant rollout” in the coming year. More →

No Comments

Sprint, Cleawire near deal for 3-5 year network-sharing agreement, report claims

By on October 28, 2011 at 10:30 PM.

Sprint, Cleawire near deal for 3-5 year network-sharing agreement, report claims

Sprint and Clearwire are close to inking a deal that will extend an existing network-sharing agreement an additional 3-5 years, Bloomberg Businessweek said Friday. The current agreement will terminate at the end of 2012. Allegedly, the deal is not final and could still fall through. If it is finalized, Sprint is poised to pay less for access to Clearwire’s network than it currently does. Clearwire has been seeking additional funding to help it build out a 4G LTE network, which is expected to cost $600 million, but Sprint will not provide any of the financing. “This would likely help [Clearwire] get funding, because it would provide increased visibility into revenue-getting opportunities and reduce the risk profile,” Mizuho Securities analyst Michael Nelson told Bloomberg. Clearwire most recently began courting AT&T and Verizon Wireless in a bid to raise cash for its new network. More →

No Comments

Microsoft inks licensing deal with Compal, boasts of grip on Android ODMs

By on October 24, 2011 at 9:41 AM.

Microsoft inks licensing deal with Compal, boasts of grip on Android ODMs

One week after announcing a similar deal with Quanta, Microsoft on Sunday revealed a new licensing arrangement with consumer electronics original design manufacturer Compal Electronics, Inc. The Redmond, Washington-based software company has reached a deal with Compal whereby it will receive royalty payments on sales of Compal’s tablets, cell phones, eReaders and other devices powered by Google’s Android or Chrome platforms. With this new deal in place, Microsoft also now holds licensing agreements with more than half of the worlds Android and Chrome ODMs. “We are pleased to have reached this agreement with Compal, one of the leaders in the original design manufacturing, or ODM, industry,” Microsoft’s deputy general counsel Horacio Gutierrez said in a statement. “Together with the license agreements signed in the past few months with Wistron and Quanta Computer, today’s agreement with Compal means more than half of the world’s ODM industry for Android and Chrome devices is now under license to Microsoft’s patent portfolio. We are proud of the continued success of our licensing program in resolving IP issues surrounding Android and Chrome.” Microsoft’s full statement follows below. More →

19 Comments

Dropbox turned down 9-figure buyout offer from Apple

By on October 18, 2011 at 9:40 PM.

Dropbox turned down 9-figure buyout offer from Apple

The founders of popular file sharing service Dropbox turned down a multimillion dollar acquisition offer from Apple, Forbes reported in a recent article. Several rumors have suggested the offer was as high as $800 million. Reportedly, founders Drew Houston and Arash Ferdowsi met with Steve Jobs in Cupertino in 2009. During the meeting, Steve Jobs made an offer to acquire Dropbox, noting that the company was “a feature, not a product,” and that Apple was going to enter the same market, Houston explained. In June, Apple flipped the tables on Dropbox and announced its own file sync service called iCloud, which replaced MobileMe and provides 5GB of free storage and syncs contacts, calendar entries and media across iOS devices. According to Forbes, Dropbox hopes to grow in the future with ongoing deals and it is currently poised to provide software on every HTC smartphone moving forward. More →

44 Comments

FCC: AT&T failed to address how proposed T-Mobile merger will add jobs

By on October 13, 2011 at 6:25 PM.

FCC: AT&T failed to address how proposed T-Mobile merger will add jobs

Rick Kaplan, chief of the Federal Communication Commission’s Wireless Telecommunications Bureau, sent a letter to AT&T on Thursday asking the carrier to clarify just how the proposed merger with T-Mobile USA will add jobs in the United States. “Our review of the information currently in our record suggests that AT&T’s responses on this issue remain incomplete,” Kaplan said. The FCC is giving AT&T until October 31st to address fully “all plans, analyses and reports discussing the creation or loss of jobs” if the merger is approved. AT&T must also disclose how many T-Mobile USA jobs will be eliminated and show how the merger will affect employment inside and outside of the United States during the next five years. AT&T CEO Randall L. Stephenson argued earlier this year that the proposed merger would be a “net job grower” in the United States. On August 31st, AT&T promised to bring 5,000 jobs back to the United States if the merger is approved, which was the same day the U.S. government filed a lawsuit in opposition of the deal. More →

46 Comments

Sony reportedly buying out Ericsson stake in Sony Ericsson

By on October 6, 2011 at 5:30 PM.

Sony reportedly buying out Ericsson stake in Sony Ericsson

Rumors of Sony’s plan to purchase Ericsson’s stake in the companies’ joint Sony Ericsson venture have come and gone over the years, but a new report claims the deed is nearly done. Sony is nearing a deal to take complete control of the cell phone vendor according to The Wall Street Journal, and analysts estimate that Ericsson’s 50% share of the JV could be worth between $1.3 billion and $1.7 billion. The report states that Sony intends to integrate the Sony Ericsson smartphone business with its tablet, gaming and computer operations in order to save on costs and create more complementary devices. Sony Ericsson reported a net loss of €50 million in the second quarter of 2011. More →

8 Comments