The rumors surfaced last week, and AT&T made it official yesterday evening. The telecom company has agreed to pay nearly $50 billion in cash and stock for satellite TV provider DirecTV. If approved by regulators, the new AT&T would have control of about 26 million TV subscribers.
Diner Dash was one of the first incarnations of the modern casual game: simple mechanics that are easy to learn and hard to master. Wikipedia says that publisher PlayFirst has seen over 550 million downloads of the game in its various versions, to say nothing of sequels and spin-offs. That's probably why Glu Mobile, one of the more visible mobile game publishers, has snatched up the company. Glu's stock priced jumped 8% this morning on the announcement.
Facebook just can't keep its hands on its money these days. First the company tossed $1 billion at the folks behind Instagram in order to acquire the service. Then the company agreed to exchange nineteen times that amount for WhatsApp. After that, it dropped another two billion for the Oculus Rift virtual reality headset. Now it has gone after ProtoGeo, the makers of the Moves activity-tracking app.
ProtoGeo announced the acquisition today in a blog post that's pretty sparse on the details.
The ladies and gents at Dropbox have big dreams - look no further than their recent expansion into email and photo gallery apps for evidence of that fact. And like any company with high aspirations, they're snapping up technology and the associated talent at a fast pace. In the last 18 months the company has bought e-readers, photo tools, and even a Craigslist-style marketplace. Today they've announced the acquisition of two more apps and the companies that make them.
Amazon already owns the most popular brand for ebooks, having debuted the Kindle ages ago and attracted consumers and publishers alike before other big players managed to establish a foothold in the industry. Now the company's going after comics. It could continue to expand its library of Kindle editions, but the speedier approach would be the buy the best competitor out there. So that's what Amazon is doing. The company has just announced plans to acquire comiXology, the makers of a popular digital comics platform, not to mention a couple of great Android comic book reading apps.
Most people rely on Amazon, Google, Barnes and Noble, or some other all-in-one ebook service for their digital literary fix, but there is a thriving community of users who prefer the flexibility and lack of DRM that comes with independent reading apps. This has led to more than a few excellent choices in the space, including Readmill, an ebook app dedicated to simplicity and readability. Apparently Readmill users aren't the only ones who were impressed: Dropbox has acquired the app (or at least hired the employees who made it) and the service is shutting down.
The big news in the wireless business this week has been AT&T's upcoming purchase of Leap Wireless, which the FCC approved yesterday. The deal has been in the works since July of last year. That leaves AT&T in an interesting spot, since it now owns the CDMA-based Cricket Wireless, which directly competes with the budget-focused Aio sub-brand. Apparently AT&T prefers the more established brand, because the company said it will combine the assets of both under the "Cricket" name.
Flipboard was already making headlines today after finally adding the option to sign into the Android app with Google+. But it looks like they'll soon have a lot more headlines to choose from, namely the ones that constantly appear on CNN.com. Flipboard announced this morning that the company will be partnering with the venerable TV and web news service, bringing both standard and international news to the platform with featured channels.
Facebook's $19 billion purchase of WhatsApp was certainly yesterday's biggest story when it came to web and social news. But according to Amir Efrati of The Information, there's an interesting backstory that didn't make it into the financial pages. He reports that six months ago, Google offered to pay WhatsApp to notify the larger company if they received an acquisition offer from anyone else. While an exact amount hasn't been disclosed, the deal was reportedly worth "millions of dollars."
The Information's anonymous sources say that WhatsApp declined the offer - surely a hard pill to swallow for a startup company, even one with the fantastic number of users that WhatsApp boasts.