Paulo Santos • 108 Comments
Paulo Santos • 108 Comments
Aug. 26, 2014, 12:49 PM
- Google (GOOG -0.5%) was unable to buy Twitch due to concerns about "potential antitrust issues" related to the acquisition, Forbes reports. Due to the antitrust issues (stemming from Google's ownership of YouTube), the companies reportedly couldn't agree on a breakup fee.
- Meanwhile, Amazon (AMZN +2.4%) is rallying amid favorable reviews for the Twitch acquisition. Analyst Jan Dawson sees Twitch expanding Amazon's advertising scale and drawing in new customers, and thinks its streaming tech could strengthen other Amazon services. "Amazon is clearly taking digital media very seriously, and spending heavily to fund it."
- The Verge's Ben Popper observes Twitch will get to make full use of AWS, and will now have Amazon's resources to help with licensing. VC Ethan Kurzweil (a Twitch investor) thinks non-gaming use cases are possible. "We think that Amazon is investing here in Internet infrastructure and something more than gaming media ... What Twitch has really built here is a video-based community around any activity."
- Yesterday: Amazon buying Twitch for $970M in cash
Aug. 25, 2014, 4:17 PM
- Jeff Bezos: "Broadcasting and watching gameplay is a global phenomenon ... Like Twitch, we obsess over customers and like to think differently, and we look forward to learning from them and helping them move even faster to build new services for the gaming community." (PR)
- Twitch had 55M+ unique visitors in July, and streamed 15B+ minutes of content produced by 1M+ broadcasters. Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) expects the acquisition to close in 2H14.
- Twitch is the third major digital content-related acquisition Amazon has made in the last two years: The company has also bought top book recommendation site Goodreads, and leading digital comics platform comiXology. Like Goodreads, Twitch provides a community of enthusiasts Amazon can potentially cross-sell various products to.
- The purchase price is slightly below the $1B Google was previously reported to be offering. Re/code reports Google-Twitch talks had died before Amazon swooped in.
- Earlier: Amazon reportedly close to Twitch deal
Aug. 25, 2014, 1:41 PM
- The Information reports Amazon (AMZN +1%) "has been in late-stage talks" to acquire popular game-broadcasting platform Twitch, and could announce a deal shortly. Prior reports stated Google (GOOG -0.4%) was close to a deal to buy Twitch for ~$1B, or had fully reached one.
- Twitch, whose platform allows users to live-stream their gaming activity (along with running commentary), has 50M+ users and a network of 4K+ content provider partners. The startup claims its average user watches 95 minutes/day of content.
- Buying Twitch would represent a major investment by Amazon in free (ad-supported) online video. Thus far, the bulk of the company's Web video investments have been directed towards Prime Instant Video. Amazon has also been fleshing out its own game studio.
- The Information's report shortly follows a WSJ report stating Amazon is working on a keyword-based ad platform (called Sponsored Links) that aims to replace ads based on Google's bread-and-butter AdWords keyword platform on Amazon's site and elsewhere. Amazon has already built up a sizable ad business, aided by its volumes of customer data.
- Update (2:05PM): The WSJ reports Amazon has agreed to buy Twitch for $1B+.
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