A casual observer might believe that YouTube is a site all about cats, or video game highlights, or anti-vaccine rants, or possibly just a repository of late night talk show bits. But no: the true purpose, as with almost all of Google's products, is to sell you stuff. To that end, YouTube is acquiring a smaller, weaker video site that's all about selling you stuff, albeit in a more direct way.
Perhaps Electronic Arts figured it was about time to start milking the cash cow that is mobile gaming: it has announced its intent to buy publisher Glu Mobile, known for its freemium all-encompassing titles like "Kim Kardashian: Hollywood," "Cooking Dash," and 2013's "Frontline Commando: D-Day," for $2.1 billion — a 36% premium on its market capitalization up to today.
The FTC has decided to look into some past acquisitions made by Google, Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Microsoft, going back to 2010, asking them now to provide information that wasn't previously required under existing anti-trust regulations. The Commission claims it wants to deepen its understanding of these sorts of smaller acquisitions to better determine if they could be preventing competition in previously unanticipated ways, though it doesn't currently claim any of the companies involved were engaging in anti-competitive behavior.
"Pokémon Go" developer Niantic Labs has sure been keeping itself busy. The company has announced that it's acquired Seismic Games, developer of "Blade Runner: Revelations" and "Marvel Strikeforce." The studio employs veterans of some big names in gaming like EA and Activision.
Flickr announced yesterday that it's entered into an agreement to be acquired from Oath Inc. by photo-sharing and image hosting platform SmugMug. Flickr currently has no plans to change its service following the acquisition.
MoviePass has acquired Moviefone in a deal between the two services' parent companies, according to a press release. Moviefone got its start in the pre-internet days of 1989, providing information about movies and their showtimes via a toll-free phone number. The dial-in service was shuttered in 2014, but Moviefone has continued to provide showtime and ticket services via its mobile app and website.
Google has acquired Tenor, one of the big players in the GIF game. In a blog post, Google said that Tenor will continue to operate as a separate brand while Google invests "in their technology and relationships with content and API partners."
When it comes to online automation platforms, IFTTT is the name most people know and trust. It's a little limited, though. We've covered Stringify a few times, citing it as a more powerful alternative that can plug into IFTTT. The company apparently caught the eye of Comcast recently, which just had to have it. So, Comcast owns Stringify now.
Rumors began to percolate early this month that Google and HTC were on the verge of agreeing to a deal that would let Google take over the struggling smartphone maker. Now that rumor is sounding all but inevitable as HTC has halted trading of its shares on the Taiwan Stock Exchange pending a major announcement. However, the acquisition may not be as complete as the Moto deal in 2011.
As AT&T continues to push for approval of its $85 billion acquisition of Time Warner, the company's leadership has released details of how the new mega-corporation would be structured. The plan calls for the new AT&T to split into independent arms, one handling media and the other doing telecom. This may appease regulators, but things aren't changing at the top.