An overview of the week in deals in the Irish and global technology sector.
Facebook buys face recognition firm Face.com
Facebook has concluded its acquisition of Israel-based facial recognition firm Face.com for an estimated US$80m to US$100m. Face.com’s KLIK technology allows users to identify their friends in images online and tag them.
Rumours of the acquisition emerged in recent weeks but according to All Things Digital, Face.com’s acquisition has been confirmed by Facebook.
“Face.com’s technology has helped to provide the best photo experience. This transaction simply brings a world-class team and a long-time technology vendor in-house,” the report said.
The deal is understood to be a complete acquisition, which means people and IP will now join Facebook.
Vodafone to get go-ahead to acquire Cable & Wireless Worldwide
The biggest shareholder group in Cable & Wireless Worldwide (CWW) has decided to withdraw its opposition to Vodafone’s proposed stg£1bn offer to buy the fixed line group.
The acquisition will give Vodafone access to substantial fibre assets in the UK, Ireland and globally.
Institutional investor Orbis says it will now support the stg£0.38 per share offer by Vodafone.
It is understood that 59pc of Cable & Wireless’ shareholders back the offer so far.
Vodafone plans to break up CWW and sell its undersea cables operations. It will also help Vodafone improve its network quality.
Google VP announces partnership with Flipboard
Google’s vice-president of product management Bradley Horowitz has announced at Le Web’12 that the company has partnered with Flipboard and that Google+ integration in the app will be coming soon.
Starting the revelations early – ahead of Google I/O, Google’s developer conference on 27 June – Horowitz announced the new alliance with the tablet news app just this morning.
“It works like it should,” said Horowitz, “Flipboard has done an amazing job.”
Google+ integration will come through Google’s new Google+ APIs, allowing Flipboard users to access posts, photos, video and other information from Google+ while staying in the Flipboard stream.
Intel spends US$375m on treasure trove of 1,700 wireless patents
Intel has paid US$375m in cash to get its hands on 1,700 Wi-Fi, 3G and LTE patents from tech firm InterDigital.
Accessing this range of patents gives Intel considerable latitude to hold its own in developing chips for mobile devices like smartphones, tablet computers and ultrabooks, not to mention servers and other key equipment.
The agreement involves patents primarily related to 3G, LTE and 802.11 technologies. InterDigital is an active developer of advanced wireless technologies including WCDMA (wideband CDMA), HSDPA (high speed download packet access) and HSUPA (high speed upload packet access), 3G technologies, as well as LTE (long term evolution) and LTE-advanced 4G technologies.
The companies expect the transaction to be completed in third quarter 2012.
Fight My Monster signs up Angry Birds’ branding experts
Fight My Monster has signed up global branding experts Dimensional Branding Group and Striker Group – the firm that has advised Angry Birds, The Hunger Games and Twilight – to see the fastest-growing online game in the UK and US become a global franchise.
Dimensional Branding Group has also worked with Sony, Miniclip and Temple Run.
Franchises like The Hunger Games and Twilight have spawned an industry in merchandise ranging from books and souvenirs to digital media products.
“With the growing interest in taking the brand to new channels, we felt it was time to bring an agent on board who has a track record with global games brands,” said Fight My Monster CEO Dominic Williams.
Described by some as ‘Pixar meets Pokemon’, Fight My Monster has exploded in schoolyards with the average player spending almost 40 minutes per session.
With more than 1.3m players across the UK and North America, the company is quickly becoming the online destination for schoolboys everywhere.
“Fight My Monster has the digital DNA required to become an evergreen property that is successful on multiple platforms, including consumer products. The Fight My Monster team has a dynamic and original property and we look forward to extending the brand globally with them”, said John Leonhardt, president, Dimensional Branding Group.
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