Facebook has had its own version of a Foursquare style check in system for ages now, but given that just about everyone including myself still calls it a “Foursquare style check in system” suggests they’ve failed somehow. Given how many users the social networking giant hosts each month one would have suspected the in-house solution would have picked up critical mass by now, but somehow it seems to have stumbled. Now according to reports, Facebook has acquired Foursquare competitor Gowalla for an undisclosed sum.
AT&T is reportedly taking a $4 billion charge as a precautionary measure in case its attempted merger with T-Mobile fails to win anti-trust approval. By taking the charge, analysts believe it's a clear sign the telecom has lost confidence in the deal going through, and on top of it all, AT&T is said to have withdrawn its application to the U.S. Department of Justice.
The European Union is notorious for being sticklers when it comes to how companies do business and is ever watchful for what it perceives to be a potential monopoly. Concerns aside, the EU just granted approval to Western Digital, the world's second largest hard drive maker, to purchase Hitachi's HDD business for $4.3 billion, with Hitach being the third biggest player in the HDD market.
Motorola Mobility Holdings, Inc. announced that its stockholders voted to approve Google's proposed $12.5 billion merger. The vote took place at a special meeting for stockholders, during which time an "overwhelming" 99 percent of the shares voting were in favor of welcoming their new overlord, which represented 74 percent of Motorola Mobility's total outstanding shares of common stock.
Google is a little more than half a billion dollars lighter in the wallet after acquiring 27 companies in the third quarter, including a $151 million cash acquisition of Zagat, a popular restaurant review guide, the sultan of search revealed in a regulatory filing this week. For the fiscal year to date, Google has spent a total of $1.4 billion acquiring 57 companies, with three months left to go.
Well here's a bit of a shocker. A company called LSI has signed a definitive agreement to acquire SandForce, makers of all those high-speed solid state drive (SSD) controllers that are so popular in the performance category. Most people assumed it would be a company like Intel, or even Corsair who would eventually swoop in and scoop SandForce up, just as OCZ did with Indilinx.
Oracle today announced it has entered into an agreement to acquire RightNow, a leading provider of cloud-based customer service, for $43 per share. That puts the acquisition at about $1.5 billion net of RightNow's cash and debt, Oracle said in a statement. RightNow's Board of Directors unanimously approved the deal, which is expected to close by the end of the year or early 2012.
It's been nearly five months since Microsoft announced plans to acquire Skype for $8.5 billion, so why hasn't it happened yet? For the simple reason of waiting for regulatory approval. The U.S. Federal Trade Commission approved the merger back in June, and now so have regulators from the European Union who determined the deal "would not significantly impede effective competition in the European Economic Area."
The former peer-to-peer file stealing sharing service turned legit is changing hands once again. After filing for bankruptcy nearly a decade ago, Napster's assets were picked up by Roxio for $5.3 million in cash and stock in 2002. In 2008, Best Buy spent $121 million acquiring the music subscription service, which by then had more 700,000 subscribers. Best Buy was never able to do much with Napster, and now Rhapsody will take over operations.
On the surface, Netflix’s recent stumblings could lead one to believe that CEO Reed Hastings has taken a swig of HP CEO Leo Apotheker’s crazy juice. Raising prices? Splitting off the DVD business? What kind of craziness is that? Today, one analyst issued a note saying that rather than being the crazy kind of crazy, Netflix’s moves may instead be a more sneaky and clever kind of crazy, intended to make the video service a juicy acquisition target for Amazon.