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acquisition

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SiriusXM has acquired Automatic, the car monitoring company

This is a bit of perplexing news. Automatic, maker of car monitoring software and hardware, has just announced that it has sold itself to SiriusXM, subscription-based provider of satellite radio. The connection between the two companies' services might not make sense at first glance, but there is one.

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LeEco announces exciting plan to not buy Vizio after all, everything is fine, nothing to see here

According to The Verge, LeEco has just announced that it no longer intends to buy US television maker Vizio.

LeEco announced its plans to buy Vizio last July for $2 billion. It's not the first stumble for the company - they're in the midst of major fundraising efforts after an apparent cash crunch caused by over-expansion. It's now rumored the company is looking to sell some of its Silicon Valley property holdings, as well.

LeEco cited "regulatory headwinds" as the reason for calling off the merger. It could also have been a little bit, maybe, that it just seemed like a bad idea and honestly made no sense from a product strategy perspective.

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AT&T set to buy more 5G millimeter wave spectrum for $1.6 billion

AT&T announced today that they're going to acquire Straight Path Communications, a holder of a number of millimeter wave spectrum licenses in the US for $1.6 billion. This brings them one step closer to realizing their AirGig plans for last-mile data infrastructure.

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Amazon to acquire Middle East online commerce site SOUQ.com

The news has been abuzz for a couple of days in the Middle Eastern region, but it has now been made official, press release and all: Amazon has reached an agreement to acquire SOUQ.com.

For those of you who don't live in the Middle East and haven't heard of SOUQ (which means "market" in Arabic), you can think of it as India's Flipkart maybe or well, Amazon, but serving a few local countries in the region: UAE, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and also shipping to Bahrain, Oman, and Qatar. It has made a name for itself as one of the leading online retailers for shopping for clothes, electronics, beauty products, home items, sports equipment, baby products, and more.

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Spotify acquires sound identification firm Sonalytic

While Spotify remains primarily a streaming music service, the apps and web portals have become more and more capable as the company continually tweaks them. That looks to continue as Spotify has acquired Sonalytic, a tech firm dedicated to audio and music recognition systems. The terms of the acquisition weren't disclosed in the short announcement post on Spotify's blog, but the company did say that Sonalytic's expertise would be used for "improving Spotify’s personalized playlists, matching songs with compositions, [and] improve our publishing data system."

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Mozilla announces acquisition of Pocket

If you've never used it, Pocket is a popular app that allows you to save links from several browsers and other applications in an easily-accessible list. Mozilla and Pocket have been working together for a while now, most notably to bring native Pocket integration to Firefox. Now Read it Later, Inc., owners of Pocket, will become a wholly owned subsidiary of Mozilla.

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Popular shopping list app Out of Milk gets acquired by Retale

Remembering what we want to buy when going shopping is a problem that plagues many members of the human race, so naturally, we use apps to fill that gap. Of the most popular of said apps is Out of Milk, an Android-only application which has just been acquired by Retale, which will nearly double the latter's userbase in the process.

Retale, if you're unaware, is a "provider of mobile-first shopping experiences" in the US. Its app features deals, coupons, vouchers from large brick-and-mortar stores, plus the ability to follow your favorite retailers. Presumably, Retale thought it would be easier to purchase an existing shopping list app instead of making one from scratch (in today's bloated, cramped app environment, it's probably a fair assumption), and Out of Milk came out on top.

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Google acquires Fabric, a popular mobile developer platform for performance tracking and crash reporting

Ask all of the mobile app developers to name the SDKs and third-party services they're using and the answer you're likely to hear more than any other is Fabric, or possibly Crashlytics (a component of Fabric). Many apps rely on Fabric for crash reporting, performance metrics, and other services that are hard to build in-house, but prove very useful when supporting an app and making business decisions. Fabric announced earlier today that it had reached an agreement to be acquired by Google, leaving behind its parent company Twitter.

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Google acquires Limes Audio to create "the best online voice quality on the market"

Google today announced that it has acquired Limes Audio, a Swedish sound company specializing in acoustic echo cancellation and speech enhancement. The move reaffirms Google's intentions to continue improving sound and call quality across its suite of products, particularly in Google Hangouts.

Poor internet connections or noisy environments like coffee shops can have a significantly adverse effect on the audio quality in an online chat, making it hard to understand the person on the other end. Hardware solutions like noise cancelling microphones are designed to filter out ambient noise and today come standard in most mid- to high-end phones, but they do little to reduce echos — and do nothing to address connectivity issues.

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'Marvel: Contest of Champions' publisher Kabam will sell its assets to South Korean firm Netmarble

The mobile market represents the biggest chunk of video game sales on the planet. It's also the most diverse and contentious, with no clear formula for achieving success or return on investment. When something like Flappy Bird can bring in a million times its operating cost while presumably sure-fire licensed games flop, there's no reliable way to know if your developer's next game will break even. Kabam, a publisher focused on licensed titles from Marvel, Warner Bros., and Universal, is no exception. The Wall Street Journal reports that the company will be selling most of its assets early next year.

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