Apr. 10, 2014, 4:34 PM
- ComiXology sells individual digital comics and subscriptions for content provided by 75+ publishers, including giants Marvel and DC Comics. Deal terms are undisclosed. (PR)
- Amazon (AMZN -4.4%) praises comiXology's mobile-friendly Guided View feature, declaring it "revolutionized the digital comics reading experience." The company had enabled 200M+ comic downloads as of last September, and its Comics app has been on the App Store's top-grossing app lists for some time.
- Amazon hasn't been shy about buying popular content distribution platforms. Past acquisitions in this realm include Audible and Lovefilm.
- Earlier: Bezos' 2014 shareholder letter
Dec. 17, 2013, 11:54 AM
- Amazon (AMZN -0.3%) has acquired Gopago, a startup that has developed a smartphone/tablet-based point-of-sale platform for retailers. Among other things, the platform allows consumers to pre-pay for goods via Android/iOS apps.
- TechCrunch notes media reports don't make it clear if Gopago's team will be joining Amazon. On the other hand, a co-founder does say Amazon will use Gopago's technology for an "ambitious" new project.
- Plenty of companies are already targeting the mobile POS software/services market. While mobile payments juggernaut Square (reportedly eying a 2014 IPO) has seen the most success, PayPal (EBAY +0.1%) is also moving aggressively in this space, and recently added support for swipe-free Bluetooth payments. Other players include Intuit, Groupon, and VeriFone.
- Amazon's online/mobile payments ambitions appear to be expanding: Two months ago, the company launched a fully-fledged PayPal rival that's available to anyone with an Amazon account. PayPal, meanwhile, recently bought rival Braintree.
Oct. 10, 2013, 4:16 PM
- TenMarks provides custom online math courses for K-12 students backed by instruction services. The company's core service is free to schools throughout the year, but a premium service is also provided.
- Amazon (AMZN) claims TenMarks' programs have been "used by tens of thousands of schools," and plans to "develop rich educational content and applications, across multiple platforms" in tandem with the startup. Deal terms are undisclosed. (PR)
- Two future possibilities: the integration of TenMarks' services with Amazon's Kindle hardware/apps, and promotions tied to Kindle textbook sales and rentals.
Aug. 13, 2013, 11:13 AM
- BlackBerry (BBRY +9%) is now up 27% since Reuters first reported the company is thinking of going private. The company's enterprise value (excludes $3.1B in cash/investments) has grown to $3B.
- While Prem Watsa reportedly talks to both P-E firms and "industry players" about a deal, the NY Post reports BlackBerry would prefer to be acquired by a "Google-like" buyer rather than a P-E firm. One source speculates Amazon (AMZN - believed to be interested back in 2011, and possibly able to leverage BlackBerry's NOCs to bolster AWS) could be an option.
- AllThingsD reports Silver Lake "has no interest in working with Watsa or BlackBerry" on a bid.
- Another upgrade has come in: Scotia Capital has lifted shares to Outperform.
- More on BlackBerry
Jun. 4, 2013, 11:12 AMIBM paid ~$2B to acquire SoftLayer, Bloomberg and the NYT report. GigaOm notes the startup "could help bring order" to the "extremely messy legacy code" behind IBM's Smart Cloud offerings. An IBM exec claims SoftLayer provides needed expertise for supporting private and hybrid clouds, as IBM offers value-added software/services on top of basic infrastructure offerings. Will IBM/SoftLayer pose a challenge to Amazon Web Services (AMZN)? Like AWS, SoftLayer claims many Web/cloud firms as clients, and its support for hybrid server environments is a selling point. But it remains to be seen if IBM will match AWS' aggressive pricing. The purchase comes as IBM protests a $600M deal Amazon scored with the CIA. | Jun. 4, 2013, 11:12 AM | 5 Comments
May 13, 2013, 1:43 PM
Amazon (AMZN) has bought Samsung's (SSNLF.PK) Liquavista e-reader display unit, The Digital Reader uncovers via Dutch regulatory filings; Amazon has subsequently confirmed the purchase. Past rumors indicated Samsung was trying to sell Liquavista, which was developing low-power color displays relying on a process called electrowetting, to Amazon for less than $100M. Look for Liquavista's tech to appear in future Kindle e-readers.| May 13, 2013, 1:43 PM | 3 Comments
May 7, 2013, 9:19 PM
Marissa Mayer (YHOO) held a preliminary talk with Hulu (DIS, CMCSA, NWS) execs about a bid for the video site, "numerous sources" tell Kara Swisher. Amazon (AMZN), Guggenheim Partners, and ex-News Corp. COO Peter Chermin (previous) are also said to be weighing bids. Yahoo was one of the companies offering to buy Hulu back in 2011, and with the French government having thwarted its Dailymotion bid, Hulu and its 4M+ premium subs might not be a bad backup plan. But much likely depends on the content rights Hulu's risk-averse old media owners are willing to give.| May 7, 2013, 9:19 PM | 1 Comment
Apr. 17, 2013, 1:20 PM
Amazon (AMZN -2.3%) roundup: 1) Amazon has reportedly paid $26M to buy Evi, a British developer of a Siri alternative that users a proprietary natural language search engine and voice recognition tech licensed from Nuance (NUAN). If true, look for Evi's software to soon be bundled with Kindle hardware. 2) Amazon's Appstore for Android is now available in nearly 200 countries, including major emerging markets (the source of much of Android's growth) such as India, Brazil, and Mexico. 3) Amazon has filed a patent application for an anonymous mobile payments system; expect PayPal (EBAY) to take a close look.| Apr. 17, 2013, 1:20 PM | 1 Comment
Mar. 29, 2013, 4:25 PMAmazon (AMZN) paid $150M-$200M (the exact sum depends on whether performance incentives are met) to acquire Goodreads, Kara Swisher reports. Meanwhile, The Digital Reader points out Goodreads' book recommendation engine could be of value to Amazon, and that the site's book review count now tops 23M. | Mar. 29, 2013, 4:25 PM | 1 Comment
Mar. 28, 2013, 4:18 PM
Amazon (AMZN +0.5%) is acquiring Goodreads, owner of a top site/social network for discussing and recommending books. The synergies with the Kindle business are easy to see. Goodreads claims over 16M members and 30K+ books clubs, and has developed popular iOS/Android apps. Terms are undisclosed. (PR)| Mar. 28, 2013, 4:18 PM
Mar. 22, 2013, 10:42 AM
Will the next Kindle e-reader have a color display? Bloomberg reports Samsung (SSNLF.PK) is trying to sell its Liquavista e-reader display unit to Amazon (AMZN) for less than $100M. Liquavista, based out of Holland, relies on a technology called electrowetting to create low-power color displays. Yesterday, Digitimes reported Amazon has drastically cut Kindle e-ink panel orders for March/April - IHS sees the e-reader market declining 27% in 2013 to 10.9M units. The Digital Reader reported of Amazon's interest in Liquavista in January. (Qualcomm/Mirasol)| Mar. 22, 2013, 10:42 AM
Mar. 16, 2013, 3:21 PM
Google (GOOG) acquires Talaria, a developer of Web application server software said to offer superior performance and support for more programming languages than alternatives. Talaria will be used by Google's cloud infrastructure unit as it tries to gain ground on dominant Amazon Web Services (AMZN) following a 2012 launch. News of the purchase comes shortly after startup Scalr unveiled benchmarks that showed Google's solutions often have a big performance edge over Amazon's, while admitting (much like Netflix) Amazon's offerings are more comprehensive.| Mar. 16, 2013, 3:21 PM
Feb. 6, 2013, 9:23 AM
Google (GOOG) has acquired Channel Intelligence, a provider of services that enable and track e-commerce activity for online retailers/marketers, from ICG (ICGE) for $125M in cash. Google Shopping services are a big part of CI's offerings. The deal expands Google's arsenal of services for lucrative e-commerce ad buyers, and does so at a time when the company is both trying to navigate a shift in marketing activity from Google Search to Google Shopping, and facing growing competition from Amazon (AMZN). ICGE +6.3%.| Feb. 6, 2013, 9:23 AM | 1 Comment
Oct. 18, 2012, 10:39 AM
Amazon (AMZN) roundup: 1) Bloomberg reports Amazon is in talks to buy Brazilian bookseller Saraiva. Saraiva, which currently has a market cap of $356M, is both a publisher and retailer of books (online and via physical stores). The report appears to be pressuring MercadoLibre (MELI -3.5%), which has already fallen on worries Amazon will enter Brazil. 2) The WSJ observes Amazon is struggling to make its publishing efforts a success in the face of boycotts from many booksellers. (earlier: I, II)| Oct. 18, 2012, 10:39 AM | 1 Comment
Oct. 16, 2012, 1:03 PM
Microsoft (MSFT) is acquiring StorSimple, a developer of storage appliances and related software sporting advanced cloud backup capabilities. Though buying an enterprise hardware firm is off the beaten path for Microsoft, the purchase ties into its efforts to pitch its Azure platform as an ideal solution for "hybrid" cloud environments that support both locally-hosted ("private") and service provider-controlled ("public") cloud infrastructures. Many top rivals, such as Amazon and Salesforce, have a much stronger public cloud tilt.| Oct. 16, 2012, 1:03 PM | 1 Comment
Oct. 15, 2012, 4:05 AM
Amazon (AMZN) is in negotiations to acquire TI's (TXN) cellular-chip operations in a deal that would be worth billions of dollars, the Calcalist Israeli newspaper reports. TI, whose chips are used in Kindle devices and Barnes & Nobles' (BKS) Nooks, has already said it won't invest in supporting its customers' plans for smartphones and tablets to the same extent as previously.| Oct. 15, 2012, 4:05 AM | 9 Comments