Monday, April 09, 2012

One Morning, Three Billion Dollars

This morning was not a typical Monday morning. Plenty of children awoke with sugar still coursing through their veins from a weekend of Easter egg hunting and chocolate bunny munching. Some people apparently spent the weekend doing more business negotiating than reflecting with family and friends.

Within hours of each other, Facebook, Instagram, Microsoft, AOL, AT&T, and Yellow Pages were all involved in deals that totaled more than $3 billion.

Less than one week after the popular photo-sharing app Instagram was released for use on Android’s operating system, the company was purchased by Facebook, according to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. The deal is reportedly worth more than $1 billion in cash and stock options.

“For years, we've focused on building the best experience for sharing photos with your friends and family. Now, we'll be able to work even more closely with the Instagram team to also offer the best experiences for sharing beautiful mobile photos with people based on your interests,” Zuckerberg said in a Facebook post.

Fans were quick to react on Zuckerberg’s post opining with more than 10,000 comments and giving nearly 60,000 likes within 15 minutes.

With the pending IPO from Facebook, it is not likely that the company will issue any further statements about the acquisition in the near future.

Facebook wasn’t the only company to make a big purchase today, though.

Microsoft purchased more than 800 patents from AOL in another deal worth just more than $1 billion. News reports across the web mentions other patent purchases by Microsoft, Apple, Samsung and Google in efforts to protect the companies in lawsuits from each other in relation to emerging technologies like tablet computing, touch screens, and online maps. Today’s purchase by Microsoft specifically adds to its patent portfolio in the areas of online search, social networks, advertising monetization and content distribution.

The Washington Post also reported that AT&T will be selling off a majority stake in its Yellow Pages business to Cerebrus Capital, a private-equity firm for $950 million. AT&T competitor Verizon Communications Inc. sold its directory business six years ago before watching it head to bankruptcy in 2009. The move by AT&T transfers the rights for the printed editions of its Yellow Pages in 22 states as well as the Yellowpages.com domain and its corresponding mobile application.

Mark Zuckerberg’s Facebook/Instagram Post:

http://www.facebook.com/zuck/posts/10100318398827991

The Next Web’s Microsoft/AOL story:

http://thenextweb.com/insider/2012/04/09/aol-sells-more-than-800-patents-to-microsoft-in-1-billion-deal/

Washington Post’s AT&T/Yellow Pages story:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/industries/atandt-to-sell-yellow-pages-business-to-private-equity-firm-cerberus-for-950m-plus-stake/2012/04/09/gIQAuAkn5S_story.html

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