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TechCrunch

Microsoft-TikTok acquisition inches closer to reality – TechCrunch


A possible Microsoft TikTok acquisition is causing plenty of drama, we review Google’s new budget Pixel and SpaceX’s Crew Dragon returns to Earth. Here’s your Daily Crunch for August 3, 2020.

Microsoft-TikTok acquisition inches closer to reality

This weekend, Microsoft confirmed reports that it’s in talks to acquire TikTok, the popular mobile video app currently owned by Chinese company ByteDance. It sounds like the outcome of those talks may ultimately have less to do with Microsoft and more with President Donald Trump. Read More

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Engadget

Apple’s latest acquisition could turn iPhones into payment terminals


An Apple spokesperson didn’t confirm the acquisition outright, only giving the publication a standard response:

“Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans.”

The tech giant did snap up a few smaller companies over the past months. Back in January, it purchased Seattle-based AI startup, Xnor.ai, which developed a way to operate AI on devices rather than in the cloud. It also purchased virtual reality startup NextVR, which is known for its partnerships with sports entities, such as the NBA. Read More

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The Verge

EU will reportedly open full investigation into Google’s Fitbit acquisition


Google’s $2.1 billion acquisition of Fitbit will reportedly face greater scrutiny from EU regulators. Reuters reports that the deal will face a full-scale antitrust investigation, which the European Commission will reportedly open next week. Regulators and consumer advocacy groups have shared fears about Google’s planned acquisition of Fitbit, related to the search giant gaining access to sensitive data like fitness activities, heart rates, sleep patterns, and more.

Consumer groups from across Europe, the US, Mexico, Canada, and Brazil have labeled Google’s Fitbit deal a “test case” for regulators’ abilities to prevent data monopolies. Google has been trying to appease European regulators by offering not to use Fitbit’s health data to target ads, but the Financial Times reports that this guarantee hasn’t been enough. EU officials are reportedly demanding more concessions that would guarantee Fitbit’s data would be open to third-party developers, and also seeking assurances that Google won’t use Fitbit data to improve its search engine. Read More

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The Next Web

This AI generates hilariously realistic startup acquisition announcements


Photo storage startup Loom announced it had been acquired by Dropbox in 2014; it also said it would be shutting down its service a month later. In 2015, Divshot revealed it had been bought out by Google; it also added it would be closing doors two months later. Guess what happened when Meta Mind got acquired by SalesForce in April 2016? It shuttered the same year in June.

You get the idea. When startups break the news they’ve been acquired, there’s also a tendency to announce they’ll be shutting down their services, like three days later. But more than the same fate, these startups also share the same formulaic announcement posts — and this is precisely what this new AI-powered tool is poking fun at. Read More

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TechCrunch

SAP will spin out its $8B spin-in Qualtrics acquisition – TechCrunch


Well, this isn’t a story you see every day.

Less than two years after German software giant SAP snatched experience management platform Qualtrics for $8 billion days before the startup’s IPO debut, it has now decided to spin out the company in a brand new IPO.

https://techcrunch.com/2018/11/11/sap-agrees-to-buy-qualtrics-for-8b-in-cash-just-before-the-survey-software-companys-ipo/

In a press statement released Sunday, SAP said that Qualtrics had seen cloud growth “in excess of 40 percent” in a quote attributed to SAP CEO Christian Klein. The company will continue to be run by founder and former CEO Ryan Smith, who joined SAP with Qualtrics and led the organization within the German conglomerate. Read More

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Engadget

Uber’s latest acquisition should bring better public transit accessibility


This isn’t Uber’s first foray into public transit services. David Reich, Head of Uber Transit, notes in Thursday’s blog post that the company has been partnering with transit agencies since 2015 to provide planning and ticketing services to riders.

Just last month, Uber inked a deal with Northern California’s Transportation Authority of Marin (TAM) and bus agency, Marin Transit. The resulting Connect2Transit program enables riders to book shared paratransit rides through the ride-hailing app itself, just as one would an UberPool. Read More

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VentureBeat

Amazon sweetens $1.3 billion Zoox acquisition with $100 million in stock to keep workers


(Reuters) – Amazon plans to create at least $100 million in stock awards to retain the 900-plus employees of Zoox, the self-driving car startup it offered to buy last month, and can walk away from the deal if large numbers of them turn down job offers from the technology giant.

Amazon, which is aggressively expanding into self-driving technology, announced June 26 it had agreed to acquire the Silicon Valley company, which was founded on an ambitious effort to design a fully autonomous vehicle from scratch rather than retrofitting existing cars for self-driving. Read More

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TechCrunch

Uber confirms Postmates acquisition – TechCrunch


You may have noticed that The Daily Crunch is publishing about six hours later than usual. Do not be alarmed! We decided that sending the newsletter later in the day was a better fit for the TechCrunch news cycle — hopefully, there will be fewer days when we hit Publish and then groan when we see a giant story break five minutes later.

We’re also taking the opportunity to rethink the newsletter format. The mission hasn’t changed — the goal is to deliver the day’s big tech headlines in an email that you can read in just a couple of minutes. But we know that different readers are focused on different areas of TechCrunch’s coverage, so moving forward, The Daily Crunch will be organized to make it easier to find the news that interests you. Read More

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VentureBeat

Uber confirms $2.7 billion Postmates acquisition


Uber has confirmed that it’s buying on-demand delivery company Postmates in an all-stock deal valued at $2.65 billion. The announcement comes after a week of intense speculation, which culminated in Bloomberg reporting earlier today that the deal was done, though neither company had responded to the claims until now.

According to Uber, the acquisition will be leveraged for both Uber’s burgeoning food delivery business, Uber Eats, as well as its broader “delivery-as-a-service” push which has seen Uber increasingly deliver all manner of goods including groceries. Furthermore, once the acquisition closes, Uber said that the consumer-facing Postmates app will be maintained as a standalone entity, though merchants and customers will benefit from a combined delivery network. Read More

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The Verge

Google’s $2.1 billion Fitbit acquisition is getting closer scrutiny from EU regulators


Antitrust regulators and consumer advocacy groups are increasing their scrutiny of Google’s planned acquisition of fitness tracker firm Fitbit.

Google announced it was buying Fitbit last year for $2.1 billion and said it hoped to complete the deal some time in 2020. But it’s possible the acquisition will be delayed over fears about the search giant’s increased access to sensitive data from Fitbit’s hardware, including users’ heart rates, their fitness activity, and their sleep patterns. Read More