This weekend the tech world was abuzz with rumors that Google had purchased Israeli mapping and navigation software maker Waze for a sum of over a billion dollars. Today Google has made it official, thanks to a post on the company blog from the VP of Geo, Brian McClendon. While Google declined to mention exactly how much it spent on Waze, it's a safe bet that it was a lot, since both Apple and Facebook had previously expressed interest.
Oh, what a tangled web gigantic mega-corps weave. Japanese telecom SoftBank wants to get its hands on an American wireless carrier, come Hell or high water, and they've just outbid Dish Network to do so. According to Reuters, Softbank has upped its bid from October of last year to $21.6 billion USD for 78% control of Sprint, topping its previous commitment of $20 billion for 70%. Dish Network is currently offering $25.5 billion in a mix of cash and stock for an outright sale, about 10% less on a share-by-share basis.
The WhitePages company announced today that it has acquired Mr. Number, a popular app used for retrieving caller identification and blocking some numbers. According to the press release, WhitePages will add Mr. Number to its own stable of mobile apps, which includes Current Caller ID, their own solution for the same market niche. It's not immediately apparent whether development will continue on Current, Mr. Number, or both, or indeed whether the developers who created Mr.
A lot of our readers have made the jump to Google Keep for their task/to-do manager of choice, but the older and more feature-filled Astrid still has a wide and appreciative community of users. Today the cross-platform service announced that it's been purchased by Google's ancient and somewhat diminished rival, Yahoo. While details on price and timeline are scarce, the service blog notes that they're no longer accepting premium subscriptions (which added data storage and saved voice notes) and will be issuing refunds to those who have paid for subscriptions and plugins.
Wavii, a service that promises to help you "keep up with everything you care about" has been snapped up by Google, according to Tech Crunch, for a sum totaling over $30 Million.
The deal, which signals an end to an apparent acquisition battle between Google and Apple, likely means that Wavii's language processing prowess will be integrated with Google services from the Knowledge Graph all the way down to (perhaps) Google Now.
We just got done breaking down the proposed Dish-led acquisition of Sprint which is in no small part about gaining control of Clearwire's sweet, sweet spectrum. Now we're hearing that Verizon is reportedly also throwing its bid in, but not to buy any of the companies involved. Just to gut their ability to function as wireless carriers by gobbling up spectrum.
In a recent filing, Clearwire disclosed that an unidentified "Party J" offered up to $1.5b for the airwaves that it owns.
We've been seeing leak after leak about Google's rumored unified messaging service. Now, as more details get seemingly confirmed and and we even get a look at the possibly near-finished app, clearly this is the time for Google to acquire a competing IM service, right? Well, not so much, according to AllThingsD. As it turns out, Mountain View is not about to buy WhatsApp, a company that makes a product that Google is currently nearly done building itself.
Opera and Skyfire have a lot in common: specialized use cases, small, dedicated populations of users. That appears to be enough for the desktop browser to swallow the mobile one. Opera Software ASA announced via a press release this morning that it is acquiring Skyfire and its assets, in a deal worth $155 million USD. The sale price includes a mix of cash and stock, $50 million of which will be delivered up front.
Today, Sprint announced that it would be spending $2.2bn to acquire the remaining (roughly) half of Clearwire that it doesn't already own. The transaction, which is naturally subject to regulatory approval, will give the carrier ownership of all of Clearwire's significant share of spectrum, which will be a huge boost to Sprint as it attempts to build out an LTE network to compete with Verizon and AT&T.
Of course, these deals can take forever to close, so in the meantime, the two companies have entered into a rather brilliant agreement: Sprint has promised to buy roughly $80m worth of Clearwire stock every month starting in January 2013 for up to ten months (or a total of $800m, and slightly more than 1/3rd of the total Clearwire purchase price).