Rumor has it Microsoft is again toying with the idea of purchasing Yahoo. The Redmond, Washington-based company may partner with another unnamed firm in an effort to make a bid, an anonymous Microsoft executive told Reuters on Wednesday. However, Reuters noted that other divisions inside Microsoft are still not sold on making an offer on the troubled search engine. AllThingsD said rumors about Microsoft’s interest are not true and that the company is not currently interested in acquiring Yahoo. Several other companies are said to be interested in purchasing Yahoo, which recently fired its CEO Carol Bartz, including DST Global, Providence Equity Partners, Alibaba, Hellman & Friedman and Silverlake Partners. Microsoft made an offer for Yahoo in 2008 before cutting off all discussions. More →
HP announced on Monday that it has followed through with its intentions to acquire Autonomy and has purchased the enterprise information technology firm for £25.50 per share in cash. HP will allow Autonomy to operate as an entirely separate arm; Autonomy will continue to be led by its founder and CEO Dr. Mike Lynch, who will report to HP’s newly appointed CEO Meg Whitman. “We are committed to helping our customers solve their toughest IT challenges,” HP president and chief executive officer Meg Whitman said. “The exploding growth of unstructured and structured data and unlocking its value is the single largest opportunity for consumers, businesses and governments. Autonomy significantly increases our capabilities to manage and extract meaning from that data to drive insight, foresight and better decision making.” Read on for the full press release. More →
The United States Justice Department has issued a request for more information from Google and Motorola Mobility concerning the search giant’s planned $12.5 billion acquisition of the phone maker. Google senior vice president Dennis Woodside explained that his company is still confident the deal will be approved. “We believe very strongly this is a pro-competitive transaction that is good for Motorola Mobility, good for consumers, and good for our partners,” he said, noting the “second request” form the DOJ was routine. “While this means we won’t be closing right away, we’re confident that the DOJ will conclude that the rapidly growing mobile ecosystem will remain highly competitive after this deal closes. We’ll be working closely and cooperatively with them as they continue their review.” Google announced in August that it intends to purchase Motorola Mobility and, shortly after, CEO Larry Page noted that Motorola’s patent portfolio will help Google’s Android partners against competitors. Despite public statements in support of the acquisition from HTC, Samsung and other Android heavy hitters, BGR has argued the purchase could potentially spell trouble for Motorola’s competitors. More →
Back in July — less than a week after Google’s general counsel Kevin Walker took to the company’s blog to launch a war of words against rivals and their patent trolling — Google bought more than 1,000 patents from IBM’s portfolio. This past Tuesday, the U.S. Patent Office published records showing that the tech giant has purchased another 1,023 patents from IBM, this time covering technologies that range from “COMMUNICATIONS ON A NETWORK” to “SELF-ALIGNED DOUBLE-GATE MOSFET BY SELECTIVE EPITAXY AND SILICON WAFER BONDING TECHNIQUES.” The IP transfer took place last month, Bloomberg reports. This move is the latest in a long line of steps Google is taking to protect Android and its partners, the most high-profile of which is its current effort to acquire Motorola Mobility and its massive portfolio of 25,000 issued and pending patents. More →
Apple’s iPhone 4 has been the best-selling smartphone in the world since it launched over 14 months ago in June 2010, but the iPhone 5 is even more highly anticipated than the current-generation model was ahead of its release. According to a recent survey conducted by RBC Capital Markets, Apple’s iPhone 5 is seeing “unprecedented demand” ahead of its release, which is expected next month. Headed by analyst Mike Abramsky, the investment bank commissioned a survey of 2,200 people between August 2nd and August 10th, and found that 31% of respondents were very likely or somewhat likely to purchase an iPhone 5 once it launches. Ahead of the iPhone 4 release last year, a similar RBC survey found that 25% of consumers planned to purchase the smartphone. Read on for more. More →
Broadcom announced on Monday that it will acquire NetLogic Microsystems for $3.7 billion and current NetLogic shareholders will receive $50 per share owned. “This transaction delivers on all fronts for Broadcom’s shareholders — strategic fit, leading-edge technology and significant financial update,” Broadcom president and CEO Scott McGregor, said. “With NetLogic Microsystems, Broadcom is acquiring a leading multi-core embedded processor solution, market leading knowledge-based processors, and unique digital front-end technology for wireless base stations that are key enablers for the next generation infrastructure build-out. Broadcom is now better positioned to meet growing customer demand for integrated, end-to-end communications and processing platforms for network infrastructure.” The proposed acquisition still needs approval from domestic and foreign regulators but is expected to close during the first half of 2012. Read on for the full press release. More →
Google announced on Thursday that it acquired the restaurant rating company ZAGAT. “ZAGAT will be a cornerstone of our local offering — delighting people with their impressive array of reviews, ratings and insights, while enabling people everywhere to find extraordinary (and ordinary) experiences around the corner and around the world,” Marissa Mayer, vice president of local, maps and location services at Google said in a blog post. “I’m incredibly excited to collaborate with ZAGAT to bring the power of Google search and Google Maps to their products and users, and to bring their innovation, trust and wealth of experience to our users.” ZAGAT was started more than 32 years ago by a couple, Tim and Nina Zagat, and the company’s ratings are now embedded in pocket guides and plastered on restaurant windows in more than 100 cities around the world and across 13 different categories. Tim Zagat confirmed on ZAGAT’s website that the couple will remain with the business as co-chairs. “Google is the first place everyone goes when looking for information; it’s the perfect home for our content,” Mr. Zagat said. The terms of the deal were not disclosed. More →
Samsung will not buy HP’s computer business, the company confirmed on Wednesday.”The recent rumors that Samsung Electronics will be taking over Hewlett-Packard Co.’s personal computer business are not true,” Samsung said in a brief note on its official global blog. “We hope this clarifies any confusion that may have occurred.” Reports surfaced on Tuesday that suggested the South Korea-based tech giant was interested in purchasing HP’s PC unit in an effort to shoot past Dell and become the world’s largest PC manufacturer. HP confirmed last week that it may spin off its PC division. More →
Bids for the online streaming company Hulu are due on Wednesday but it is still unclear what the company’s future will hold. Bidders will “submit proposals with wide price ranges based on what types of television shows Hulu would license, when those shows would become available on Hulu and how long the agreements would stretch,” The Wall Street Journal said in a report. Most recently, Hulu changed its licensing terms and now offers television shows eight days after they air, which could turn some viewers off from the service entirely. Previously, Hulu allowed viewers to watch their favorite shows for free the day after they aired, a much more attractive option. Hulu Plus subscribers can still watch new episodes the next day. Rumors surfaced in July that Apple was pondering a Hulu purchase and The Wall Street Journal said Amazon, Google, DirecTV and Yahoo are among those who have been named as potential bidders. Industry insiders have suggested company could fetch between $500 million and $2 billion.
Sprint is in talks to purchase Clearwire outright, Bloomberg reported on Friday. The carrier has been speaking to a number of firms including Comcast about the possible acquisition, which would help Sprint build out a 4G LTE network capable of going head-to-head with competing networks from Verizon Wireless and AT&T. Cox Communications has also been involved in the discussions, Bloomberg said. Sprint could take one of two paths: it could invest more in Clearwire, although it already owns a controlling 54% stake in the company, or it could acquire it fully. Clearwire has said that it needs roughly $600 million to roll out LTE alongside its current 4G WiMAX network. In late July, however, Sprint inked a deal with network wholesaler LightSquared, in which LightSquared agreed to pay Sprint $9 billion and give the firm several billion more in service credits over 15 years for the right to use Sprint’s infrastructure to build out its own 4G LTE network. Bloomberg said Sprint’s talks with Clearwire are still in early stages and a deal is not imminent. More →
Verizon Communications’ senior vice president and deputy general counsel John Thorne discussed Verizon’s opinion on Google’s planned acquisition of Motorola Mobility with The Wall Street Journal on Tuesday. “We will be looking with interest as further details of the proposed transaction become clear,” Throne said. “But, at first glance, to the extent that this deal might bring some stability to the ongoing smartphone patent disputes, that would be a welcome development.” On Monday, Google CEO Larry Page said the purchase will bolster Google’s patent portfolio and will allow the company to better “protect Android from anti-competitive threats from Microsoft, Apple and other companies.” Verizon Wireless, a joint venture between Verizon and Vodafone, kicked off its Android offering when it announced the first Motorola DROID in October, 2009. T-Mobile, Sprint and AT&T have yet to voice opinions on the planned purchase, but execs from HTC, Samsung LG and Sony Ericsson all offered statements in support of the deal on Monday.
On Wednesday, Walmart subsidiary VUDU launched a new iPad-accessible web app that allows iPad users to stream more than 20,000 movies and television shows directly from the Web. iPad owners don’t have to use iTunes and simply need to navigate to http://VUDU.com for access to rentals and purchases. “VUDU’s launch on the iPad plays into that vision as we’re committed to offering the VUDU experience on as many devices as possible so customers can shop for and access their favorite movies and TV shows however they want, whenever they want,” general manager of VUDU Edward Lichty said. Customers can add a VUDU web app to their home screen by clicking the “Add to Home Screen” button once they have accessed the website. Read on for the full press release. More →
GameFly announced on Wednesday it will soon offer a new service called “Unlimited PC Play” that will allow gamers to download an unlimited amount of games to their Windows or Mac computer. Much like Netflix’s business model, GameFly will provide instant access to more than 8,000 rental discs or more than 1,500 instant downloads for a monthly fee. The service will require a desktop client that will include news, a feed of HD trailers and screen shots of the latest games. GameFly also said there will be a social component that will allow gamers to interact with one another in real-time. A closed beta will begin on September 8th for current GameFly subscribers and a public launch will occur during the holiday season. Read on for the full press release. More →