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acquisition

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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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CNN acquires Beme, taps co-founder Casey Neistat for a new network in summer of next year

Video-sharing social network Beme has been racking up downloads over the last couple of months - since launching on Android in May, it's had between 100,000 and 500,000 downloads. Everything has to come to an end though, as CNN has acquired the company and its co-founder, Casey Neistat. He runs a popular YouTube channel, and will be working on a new network at the media giant, to launch in summer 2017.

Beme is, or was, an app that allowed users to share quick, raw, unedited video to their followers. Many of the users were part of Neistat's online following, but the app has been struggling recently against similar visual apps such as Snapchat or Instagram.

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Samsung acquires Canadian telecom NewNet to bolster its RCS offerings

Rich Communications Services, more frequently abbreviated to RCS, is something of a hot-button topic in the mobile tech world right now. It's essentially a replacement for SMS that incorporates a lot of the functions of popular new messaging systems like WhatsApp, supplanting the antiquated text messaging standard with something more capable and flexible. The problem is that "RCS" is something of a generic term, and every gigantic international megacorp and their gigantic international mother wants their own standard. After today, you can add Samsung to the list.

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Qualcomm to acquire NXP Semiconductors for $47 billion

Qualcomm has announced that it plans to acquire NXP Semiconductors for $47 billion USD, including debt, which will be the largest semiconductor deal ever. NXP, for those of who don't know, is a large player in the automotive, IoT, and security chips market. For reference, its chips are behind 14 of the top 15 most-popular infotainment systems. 

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Premium indie web video service Vessel gets gobbled up by Verizon, closing down this month

Verizon has a serious appetite for video content as of late. In addition to promoting the heck out of GO90 and its various American sports partnerships, the company bought AOL and Yahoo, which has media aspirations of its own. The latest horse to arrive at the stable is Vessel, a sort of alternative YouTube for creators who try to make "premium" videos that are good enough to warrant subscription payments from users. The service started up last year with channels from notable YouTube creators.

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Google acquires 'influencer marketing' company FameBit

Getting up and running with an audience on YouTube isn't an easy thing to do, especially if you're trying to make a living off of it. Despite the breakout success of the "YouTuber" culture and some notable successes, creating a reliable base of viewers is hard work, to say nothing of getting paid. Google is trying to make that easier, according to the latest post on the official YouTube blog. The company has acquired FameBit, a tool for connecting content creators with sponsors and promoters, to help reach this goal.

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Ubisoft acquires casual mobile game publisher Ketchapp

Even if you're a regular gamer, you might not know about Ketchapp. The publisher is only a couple of years old, and the games it posts to the Play Store and App Store are uniformly small, simple titles. But what it lacks in ambition it makes up for in volume: by my count there are no less than 75 Ketchapp games on the Play Store, an impressive accomplishment in a short amount of time. Ketchapp seems to have caught the eye of some industry heavy-hitters, because it's being acquired by Ubisoft, one of the biggest game publishers on the planet.

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Intel set to acquire Movidius to give sight to machines

In a blog post today, Intel announced its planned acquisition of Movidius, a "vision" chip manufacturer that focuses on low-power hardware and algorithms to give machines sight. Having seen a market for its technology at its founding, Movidius set out to develop its own processing architecture to tackle large workloads and image processing while keeping expenditure low. This eventually became the company's Vision Processing Units (VPU), which allow for tracking, navigation, and mapping all while sipping at power. Because of the success in its endeavors, the company was able to partner with some big names in the tech space, including Google and its Project Tango.

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