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
Shortly after confirming the rumors of its talks with Alcatel-Lucent yesterday, Nokia has announced today that it does indeed intend to buy the French firm. The deal would combine both European companies' assets under the Nokia Corporation name, with headquarters in Helsinki and a strong presence in France. No cash transactions would be involved, instead the acquisition is a public exchange offer whereby 0.55 Nokia shares are offered for every Alcatel-Lucent share. The valued total amounts to 15,6 Billion Euros.
The merger has been approved by both companies' boards of directors and should be closed by 2016 if it gets the regulatory go-ahead. Once done, current Alcatel-Lucent shareholders would own 33.5% of the combined company and Nokia shareholders the remaining 66.5%. Read More
United Kingdom communications giant BT Group, also referred to by its primary subsidiary British Telecom or simply "BT," is buying its way back into the mobile carrier business. The company announced its intention to buy UK carrier EE for a combination of cash and stock worth 12.5 billion pounds. That would combine the country's largest mobile carrier at 24.5 million customers with its largest landline/ISP operator at 10 million customers, creating a force to be reckoned with in both wireless and wired connections.
EE is a jointly owned by Deutsche Telekom and Orange, both of which will have significant stakes in BT once the deal is approved by shareholders and regulators, predicted to happen in March of next year. Read More
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.
Dish has been playing hardball since its initial cash and stock bid in April, claiming that it intends to leverage ownership of Sprint to further expand video and Internet capabilities for both companies. Read More
GrubHub and Seamless are merging into a single company intent on bringing more customers to more restaurants, or more food to more customers, depending on your perspective. For those who have never heard of either company, they both allow mobile shoppers to avoid holding their phones to their ears to order takeout by using mobile apps on their phones instead. It's a popular concept, as evidenced by the roughly $875 million in gross food sales the two companies facilitated last year.
The two competitors currently share the same goal of connecting hungry people with delicious meals, but they maintain separate networks of retailers across the country. Read More
Dearly beloved, we are gathered together in the sight of the FCC and these witnesses to join MetroPCS and T-Mobile in the bonds of holy mergrimony. If any shareholder can show just cause why they may not be joined together, let them speak now or forever shut the hell up.
Today, MetroPCS shareholders approved the merger between the company and T-Mobile USA. As a result of the deal, Deutsche Telekom will own a 74% stake in the new company, while the former MetroPCS shareholders will own 26%. The new company will be called T-Mobile US and, for the first time, be traded publicly on the NYSE under the name TMUS. Read More
AT&T has a problem on its hands. It's big, but is it big enough? If you're a CEO of a major corporation the answer to that question is always "no." However, the carrier has difficulty expanding on the home front. An overwhelming majority of U.S. citizens have phones with one carrier or another, so there's very little wiggle room to grab new customers. And gaining in market share when you (and all your competitors!) are dead set on locking people into two-year contracts is very difficult. In short, growth isn't much of an option outside acquisitions, and those haven't gone so well. Read More