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." Read More
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. Read More
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. Read More
Casual observers of the electronic accessory scene will probably recognize Incipio as a seller of respectable if somewhat unremarkable cases for flagship phones and tablets. Incipio makes other accessories too, but cases and other protective add-ons are their bread and butter... which is probably why the company has left acquisitions like Braven to do their own things even after acquiring them. Observers will also know Skullcandy as a seller of remarkable if less-than-respectable headphones, lining Best Buy and Target shelves all over the US. As of this week, Incipio owns Skullcandy. How about that. Read More
Do you remember the huge scandal that was Carrier iQ? It's alright if you don't - it's been over four years since the company's data-logging mobile phone software was revealed, resulting in accusations of privacy violations, lax security, lawsuits both from and against the software maker and its partners, and eventually the removal of Carrier iQ code from phones via security patches. The months-long scandal basically killed Carrier iQ as a company... but now its corporate assets are owned by a carrier jokingly referred to as "the Death Star." There's no way that can go wrong, is there?
Yes, AT&T, in between attempts to snap up competing telcos and the country's biggest satellite TV provider, has somehow found time to buy a tiny but incredibly controversial software developer. Read More
Canada's mobile market might be only a fraction of the size of its southern neighbor's, but that's still millions and millions of potential customers. Shaw Communications, a major Canadian phone and Internet provider based in Calgary, is making a move to grab a portion of it. Yesterday Shaw announced its intention to buy Wind Mobile, the country's fourth-largest mobile carrier. Shaw will buy the company from its parent Mid-Bowline Group for 1.6 billion Canadian dollars (about 1.15 billion USD).
Wind has only been operating for almost exactly six years, and in an impressively short time has amassed just under a million subscribers in Alberta, British Columbia, and Ontario. Read More
If you've heard of Fuhu, you're either a parent, a tech news junkie, or both. The Los Angeles-based company makes the Nabi line of tablets, some of the first Android-powered devices to be made and marketed directly for children, and the forerunner of more widespread "kid" tablet variants from Samsung and Amazon. Android Police has reviewed several of its tablet designs. Fuhu announced that the company is being acquired by Mattel, famous makers of Barbie, Hot Wheels, and all manner of other children's toys and games.
Concurrently, Fuhu is also filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. That's alarming, but according to the lengthy post on the official Nabi Facebook page, it's more of a procedural method than an actual decommission of the company as it currently stands. Read More
When big companies buy small companies, there's always a chance that the smaller company will more or less disappear, along with its products. Some good examples in the mobile space would be HP's acquisition of Palm or Microsoft's similar purchase of Nokia. Not all tech companies do this - Amazon and Facebook seem to be pretty hands-off with their acquisitions - but Intel certainly does. Less than a year after Intel acquired the company that makes popular password manager PasswordBox, the company announced via its blog that the product will be abandoned sometime in 2016.
The PasswordBox team is already working on Intel's similar service, True Key, and they'll be transitioning both team members and software features over to the Intel side. Read More
T-Mobile has been responsible for seriously shaking up the American cellular carrier for the last couple of years, disrupting nearly every area from contracts to phone subsidies to data sales models. So hearing that T-Mo's parent company Deutsche Telekom may be interested in selling it off is somewhat alarming. Hearing that they may be interested in selling to Comcast, quantifiably one of the most despised companies in the entire country, is like watching that head-crushing scene from Game of Thrones all over again.
Reuters reports that Deutsche Telekom is in active talks to sell T-Mobile USA to cable giant Comcast, according to business magazine Manager, which cites anonymous sources. Read More
Communication companies are hooking up around us as we speak. Mobile carrier AT&T is buying satellite provider DirecTV. Cable distributor Charter is acquiring rivals Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks. Now T-Mobile is looking to merge with Dish Network, according to The Wall Street Journal.
The two sides apparently agree on how the combined company would look. T-Mobile CEO John Legere would serve as CEO, while Dish Chief Executive Charlie Ergen would be the chairman. But they haven't yet come to an agreement on how much money would exchange hands.
This merger draws obvious parallels with AT&T's acquisition. A DirecTV-enhanced AT&T and a combined T-Mobile/Dish would both provide cellular service, satellite TV, and Internet access through either satellite or mobile networks. Read More