Disney is buying YouTube network Maker Studios for as much as $950M

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Reuters reports that Disney is about to buy Maker Studios, one of the largest YouTube networks, for $500 million with the possibility for that amount to rise to $950 million:

Maker, founded in 2009, helps produce and distribute videos to more than 380 million subscribers worldwide across more than 55,000 channels. Its videos now collectively garner some 5.5 billion views every month, according to the source.

The company distributes content through partnerships it has with a long list of YouTube content creators such as the popular PewDiePie gaming channel and also provides a platform that gives creators access to royalty reporting, analytics, and other services to help maximize earnings.

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Google acquires gesture-based interface development startup Flutter

Flutter, the startup that created a gestured-based music controller for iTunes and Spotify, has been acquired by Google according to a splash page on the company’s website. The Flutter app used a computer’s webcam to detect hand gestures for starting, stopping, or switching songs on iOSOS X, and Windows. Aside from iTunes and Spotify, Flutter is compatible with a variety other apps, including Quicktime Player, Rdio, and even Google Chrome.

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Samsung reportedly buys Boxee for $30 million (Update: Confirmed)

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Update: The acquisition has now been confirmed by Samsung. In a statement to the New York Times, the company had the following to say:

“Samsung has acquired key talent and assets from Boxee. This will help us continue to improve the overall user experience across our connected devices.”

According to a new report from Israeli business site The Marker (via The Jewish Press), Samsung has purchased Boxee, the company behind the home theater PC software and set-top box that lets users stream content on their TV and computer. The report claims that Samsung paid around $30 million for the company and will continue to employ Boxee’s 40 workers.

Boxee has been looking for a buyer or more funding for the past few months. It was reported last month that the company had found a buyer, but this is the first specific information we have heard about a possible acquisition.

Samsung is an interesting buyer for sure. More than likely, the company would use the team’s talent to improve its Smart TV software, but it’s also possible that the two companies could work on some sort of video streaming service, as well, possibly based off of Google TV.  Read more

Huawei reportedly considering Nokia acquisition

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According to a new report out of the Financial Times, Huawei is considering buying Finnish smartphone manufacturer Nokia. Richard Yu, Huawei’s consumer business group chairman explained at the company’s Ascend P6 launch event that Huawei is looking into the acquisition, but how far negotiations go would depend on the willingness of Nokia. “We are considering these sorts of acquisitions; maybe the combination has some synergies but depends on the willingness of Nokia. We are open-minded,” Yu stated.

Huawei is not a household name here in the United States when it comes to smartphones, most likely due to the company’s shaky relationship with the U.S. government, but Yu says the company is certainly looking to take on the likes of Samsung and Apple, and having Nokia behind it would definitely be helpful.  Read more

Google acquires natural language engine Wavii for over $30M (Update: Wavii closed)

Update: Following Google’s acquisition, Wavii has shut down its service and pulled its iOS app.

Google has purchased natural language processing engine Wavii for more than $30 million, according to TechCrunch.

The acquisition has several similarities to Yahoo’s recent purchase of Summly, which Yahoo integrated into its iOS app just yesterday, as both start-ups focused on parsing text from content and delivering summarized snippets of information.

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