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.
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:
"This merger decision should not and will not mean that we are not concerned by the possibility that, once Google is the owner of this portfolio, Google can abuse these patents, linking some patents with its Android devices.
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.
I know the subject of Twitter buying another company is not directly related to Android, but considering the importance of the social service in our day-to-day operations and the target of the rumor being TweetDeck, a crowd favorite when it comes to Twitter clients, I thought I'd give this one a mention.
According to a report published today by The Wall Street Journal, Twitter is reportedly in talks to buy TweetDeck for $50 million.
T-Mobile is starting to get aggressive with customer acquisition and retention, and in light of less than stellar fiscal performance and the news of the AT&T deal, it's not hard to see why.
On April 13, the carrier will begin offering a new off-contract smartphone plan, and it's a steal - for $59.99 a month (down from $79.99), you'll get unlimited talk, text and data*. But, there are some significant catches.