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).
We've heard rumors that Sprint is considering outbidding T-Mobile for MetroPCS's affection. Just in case that doesn't work, though, Sprint wants us to know that there is another plan in the works: being purchased by Softbank. Since most of you likely aren't up to date on Japanese telecoms, here's the deal: Softbank is a Japanese telecom. The third largest wireless carrier in the country, so a bit of a kindred spirit with Sprint.
Previously, we'd heard rumors and whispers that T-Mobile (by way of its parent company Deutsche Telekom) would be acquiring MetroPCS. Today, both companies' boards have approved the merger and, pending regulatory and MetroPCS shareholder approval, the deal should be completed by mid-2013. The two companies will have a combined subscriber base of about 42.5 million customers, which still leaves it in fourth place in the U.S. behind Sprint with 56 million and AT&T/Verizon who each have over 100 million users.
It's almost become trite to hear that Google has bought another company that deals in photo editing software. Yet, here we are again. Today, Vic Gundotra announced on Google+ that Nik Software, creators of the impressive Snapseed app that we saw demoed at CES this year, will be joining the Mountain View team.
While there's no indication yet just which Google product will see the benefit of this new talent, it can only mean good news.
When we last heard about Google's deal to buy Motorola, the EU and the US had approved the deal. The one major market we were left waiting on is China and now, according to the Associated Press (known around here as "the other AP"), the country's regulators have given Google the green light. The deal is now expected to close next week.
The biggest asset of the deal is, of course, Motorola's 17,000+ patents.
Break out your Dr. Evil jokes, if you've got any left. Facebook just announced that it will be acquiring Instagram, the popular photo-sharing app and recent addition to the Play Store family, for a cool billion dollars. You read that right. With a "b". Billion. To answer all the critics who were wondering what's so cool about Instagram: a billion dollars.
Instagram assures us in a blog post on the subject that the app will stay the exact same as it always has been.
Google just got one step closer to finalizing its acquisition of Motorola Mobility with approval from the 27-member European Union. Google still needs approval from the U.S. and China, as well as a few other key jurisdictions, before it can bring Motorola into the fold, but at the moment things are looking rosy for the Big G.
The EU did express some hesitations about the deal, however. EU Competition Commissioner Joaquin Almunia had this to say in a statement to the press:
We heard that Sony was looking to buy Ericsson's half of Sony Ericsson earlier this month, and now that deal has come to fruition. Sony will purchase Ericsson's part of the joint effort that has been over a decade in the making for €1.05 billion cash. Aside from the obvious, the deal will also land Sony a cross-licensing agreement that includes access to a few "essential patent families relating to wireless handset technology."
The purchase will allow Sony to better streamline all of its current markets, including game consoles, smartphones, tablets, computers, and more into one unified subset of devices.
Google has just announced that it has entered into an agreement to acquire Motorola Mobility for $12.5 billion. The search giant will be paying $40 per share, a premium of 63% from the closing price of Motorola's shares from last Friday. The actual acquisition is expected to take place in late 2011 or early 2012 pending regulatory approvals.
A partnership between the developer of the Android platform and a top 3 Android device manufacturer is likely to light a fire beneath the likes of Samsung, HTC, LG, and other Android partners.