It seems that Microsoft doesn’t want to let Samsung have all the fun with wild social-networking rumors. Bloomberg on Thursday reported that Microsoft is in talks to buy Yammer, the “freemium” social networking site designed to foster more efficient collaboration among coworkers. Microsoft may pay upwards of $1 billion, unnamed sources told Bloomberg, putting the potential Yammer buy on par with Facebook’s recent acquisition of Instagram. Obviously buying Yammer would give Microsoft a strong social networking component to its Office suite since Microsoft would inherit millions of users across more than 200,000 different companies. The deal for Yammer could be finished as soon as this Friday, Bloomberg said. More →
Beats Audio, the company behind the popular Beats by Dr. Dre line of over-ear and in-hear headphones, is reportedly planning to acquire subscription music service MOG. The deal was first reported by Business Insider and then reaffirmed by AllThingsD on Tuesday. Founded in 2005, MOG is a service similar to Spotify, Rhapsody and Microsoft’s Zune. It makes use of a freemium model and allows subscribers to stream unlimited music to a computer, tablet or smartphone. At last count, MOG touted more than 500,000 active users. Taiwan-based smartphone vendor HTC is the majority owner of Beats Audio and if the reports pan out, it is possible that the subscription music service will be incorporated into HTC’s Sense suite of software and services. The terms of the deal have not been reported. More →
The European Union will decide on February 13th whether or not to give its blessing to Google’s planned purchase of Motorola Mobility. Google recently provided European courts with more information in support of the merger, Reuters said. The European Union suspended its review of the merger on December 12th pending Google’s submission of documents that are considered “essential to its evaluation of the transaction.” Google announced on August 15th its intentions to purchase Motorola Mobility for $12.5 billion and said the purchase will bolster its patent portfolio and help it defend its Android partners against competitors such as Apple and Microsoft. More →
Research In Motion is currently weighing every single option it can think of in an effort to reverse a negative trend that is approaching a boiling point for investors. Reports that RIM is currently in talks to license its software to other vendors are accurate according to our trusted sources, though we have been told that RIM is most likely leaning toward an outright sale of one or more divisions, or even the whole company. The front runner, we have been told by a trusted source with knowledge of the situation, is Samsung, which might be interested in RIM for a number of reasons.
Nokia has acquired Oslo, Norway-based cell phone operating system developer Smarterphone AS as it prepares to launch a reinvigorated attack on emerging markets. The transaction was completed in November 2011 according to major investor Ferd Capital, and the terms of the deal were not disclosed. Smarterphone AS has built a proprietary operating system that is designed to provide “highly advanced functionality on very moderate hardware.” While Nokia’s smartphone lineup is now powered by Microsoft’s Windows Phone operating system, Smarterphone’s feature phone platform is seemingly well aligned with Nokia’s recent work on a secret platform that will bring enhanced capabilities to low-end hardware. BGR exclusively reported details surrounding the secret OS last September and again in October, though it is unclear whether the Finnish vendor plans to integrate Smarterphone’s platform with its own OS, or if the new platform will replace the software that Nokia had in development. Ferd Capital’s full press release follows below. More →
2011 was a wild, wild year to follow the technology industry. AT&T failed to buy T-Mobile USA, things got rough for RIM and Apple and Samsung fought legal battles all over the world. Still, one of the biggest stories of the year began when Google announced in August that it planned to purchase Motorola Mobility, a member of the open handset alliance, for $12.5 billion. Pundits immediately needed to know one thing: what did Google’s other Android partners think? Surprisingly, HTC, Samsung, LG and Sony Ericsson all voiced support for the acquisition. But why? At first it appeared that Google just wanted to control the entire Android experience, from software to hardware, but CEO Larry Page soon put a second piece of the puzzle into place: the acquisition could offer Android partners a safe haven against litigation from Apple and Microsoft. More →
AT&T made headlines in March of this year when it announced plans to acquire T-Mobile USA from Deutsche Telekom for $39 billion. Here we are nine months later and the deal is dead in the water, but there was a huge game of tug-of-war going on all year between AT&T, policy makers, the government and AT&T’s competitors. There were points when it seemed that the merger was bound for approval, and others where it seemed fairly certain that the government would reject AT&T’s application. The only thing we knew for sure is that this deal, if approved, would change the wireless landscape in the U.S. forever. Read on for more. More →
Research In Motion reportedly cut short takeover talks with Amazon and other companies, preferring to instead attempt to solve its own financial woes. Reuters broke news of the discussions Tuesday evening. Amazon allegedly hired an investment bank to help guide discussions with the BlackBerry maker, but it’s unclear how far along the talks got before RIM turned the retail giant away. Sources speaking to Reuters said RIM is not currently interested in a sale or a joint venture and would instead prefer to license its technology. “Selling the company or an economic joint venture is probably not in the cards right now,” the anonymous source told Reuters. “Until you stabilize the platform, people are going to be very nervous about spending $10 billion or more.” Read on for more. More →
Nuance announced on Tuesday that it plans to acquire Vlingo, a voice-to-text and voice recognition technology firm that was once the subject of a Nuance lawsuit. Nuance senior manager Mike Thompson said the decision was made after his company realized there’s a $5 billion market opportunity as demand increases for voice engine products such as Apple’s Siri voice engine, which is powered in part by Nuance technology. “Inspired by the introduction of services such as Apple’s Siri and our own Dragon Go!, virtually every mobile and consumer electronics company on the planet is looking for ways to integrate natural, conversational voice interactions into their mobile products, applications, and services,” Mike Thompson, Senior Vice President and General Manager, of Nuance Mobile said. “By acquiring Vlingo, we are able to accelerate the pace of innovation to meet this demand.” The terms of the acquisition were not disclosed. Nuance’s full press release follows after the break.
Apple has reportedly completed its acquisition of Israel-based flash memory firm Anobit in a deal worth up to $500 million. Hebrew-language financial newspaper Calcalist on Tuesday claimed that a deal had been reached after reporting earlier this month that Apple was in late-stage talks to buy the fabless chip maker. Apple has not confirmed the acquisition. Anobit’s website says its proprietary technology “significantly improves endurance, performance and cost of flash storage products and systems,” and Apple already uses Anobit’s chips in a number of its mobile devices and notebook computers. More →
AT&T on Monday announced that it has ended its bid to acquire T-Mobile USA from Deutsche Telecom. “The actions by the Federal Communications Commission and the Department of Justice to block this transaction do not change the realities of the U.S. wireless industry,” AT&T said in a press release. “It is one of the most fiercely competitive industries in the world, with a mounting need for more spectrum that has not diminished and must be addressed immediately. The AT&T and T-Mobile USA combination would have offered an interim solution to this spectrum shortage. In the absence of such steps, customers will be harmed and needed investment will be stifled.” AT&T’s bid to acquire T-Mobile USA for $39 billion was met with strong opposition from the Department of Justice, which sued to block the merger, as well as Sprint and other companies which claimed to be concerned that such a merger would have a negative impact on the U.S. wireless market. The DOJ also questioned whether or not such a deal would actually create jobs, as AT&T had repeatedly stated. AT&T will pay T-Mobile a $4 billion breakup fee as a result of its failed acquisition. AT&T’s full press release follows below, as does a letter from T-Mobile USA CEO Phillip Humm. More →
Rumors again surfaced on Wednesday suggesting that Nokia plans to sell its smartphone business to Microsoft. Danske Bank, Denmark’s largest bank, issued a report to clients Wednesday morning that said Nokia will sell its smartphone division to Microsoft during the first half of 2012. Danske raised its rating on Nokia stock to Buy from Hold, and shares rose more than 3% on the news. Similar rumors first surfaced in May when an industry insider said Nokia and Microsoft were about to enter negotiations for a deal that could close before the end of 2011. Nokia immediately denied the rumor, though subsequent reports indicated that the two companies had in fact entered into discussions. “We put these rumors to rest a long time ago,” a Nokia spokesperson said in response to Danske Bank’s new report.
Sprint and C Spire Wireless have decided to postpone lawsuits levied against AT&T. The two carriers had originally filed the suits in hopes of blocking AT&T’s planned $39 billion acquisition of T-Mobile USA from Deutsche Telekom. AT&T recently pulled its merger application from the FCC however, and was granted a stay until January 18th for its lawsuit against the Department of Justice. Sprint originally sued to block the merger in September when it argued the deal would “harm retail consumers and corporate customers by causing higher prices and less innovation.” More →