MarketWatch: Russia’s ‘Google’ Yandex joins super-app race with $5.5 billion offer for online bank Tinkoff

MarketWatch: Russia’s ‘Google’ Yandex joins super-app race with $5.5 billion offer for online bank Tinkoff. “Shares in TCS Group Holdings rose almost 7% on Wednesday, after the Russian bank said it is in talks to sell its online bank Tinkoff to Russian technology giant Yandex for almost $5.5 billion. The two companies said late on Tuesday they had come to an agreement in principle on a cash-and-shares offer that would value London-listed Tinkoff at $5.48 billion, or $27.64 a share. The offer represents an 8% premium over Tinkoff’s closing share price on Sept. 21.”

New York Times: This Deal Helped Turn Google Into an Ad Powerhouse. Is That a Problem?

New York Times: This Deal Helped Turn Google Into an Ad Powerhouse. Is That a Problem?. “Google owns the world’s leading search engine, it operates the largest video-hosting service in YouTube, and its popular web browser, email, map and meeting software is used by billions of people. But its financial heft — the source of nearly all its enormous profits — is advertising. And perhaps no day was more pivotal in transforming Google into a powerhouse across the entire digital advertising industry than April 13, 2007, when the company clinched a deal to buy DoubleClick for $3.1 billion.”

‘There’s No There There’: What the TikTok Deal Achieved (New York Times)

New York Times: ‘There’s No There There’: What the TikTok Deal Achieved. “The saga of TikTok had everything: Ominous threats of surveillance. A forced fire sale. Threats of retaliation. Head-spinning deal terms that morphed by the hour. Dark horse bidders and a looming deadline. Now, as the dust settles on the weeks of drama over the social media app, investors and others are asking what it was all for.”

TechCrunch: The TikTok deal solves quite literally nothing

TechCrunch: The TikTok deal solves quite literally nothing . “After debasing the idea of free commerce in the U.S in the name of a misplaced security concern, stringing along several multi-billion dollar companies that embarrassed themselves in the interest of naked greed, and demanding that the U.S. government get a cut of the profits, the TikTok saga we’ve been watching the past few weeks finally appears to be over. A flurry of announcement late Saturday night indicate that the TikTok deal was actually a politically-oriented shakedown to boost the cloud infrastructure business of key supporters of the President of the United States.”

CNN: Trump says he has approved a deal for purchase of TikTok

CNN: Trump says he has approved a deal for purchase of TikTok. “President Donald Trump said Saturday he has approved a deal between TikTok’s parent company, ByteDance, and Oracle (ORCL), temporarily averting a ban on TikTok in US app stores. The Commerce Department confirmed in a statement Saturday evening that it would delay — by one week — restrictions that were originally to take effect on Sunday.”

Deutsche Welle: ByteDance to pursue partnership with Oracle to avoid US sale of TikTok

Deutsche Welle: ByteDance to pursue partnership with Oracle to avoid US sale of TikTok. “Chinese tech company ByteDance will seek a partnership deal with US tech company Oracle Corp, sources familiar with the negotiations said Monday, hoping for a workaround that will avoid a forced sale of TikTok in the US. Instead of the expected buyout of the video-sharing app’s US operations, the latest proposal would see Oracle become ByteDance’s tech partner, taking over management of TikTok’s US user data and storing it in Oracle’s cloud servers.”

CNN: Walmart is joining Microsoft in the pursuit of TikTok

CNN: Walmart is joining Microsoft in the pursuit of TikTok. “Walmart is partnering with Microsoft in an attempt to buy TikTok, as the popular yet embattled short-form video app seeks a US buyer amid intense political scrutiny. The retail giant told CNN Business Thursday it is participating in the negotiations with Microsoft over a potential deal. CNBC was first to report the effort by the two companies.”

New York Times: How TikTok’s Talks With Microsoft Turned Into a Soap Opera

New York Times: How TikTok’s Talks With Microsoft Turned Into a Soap Opera. “Pushed by President Trump, who has ordered TikTok’s U.S. operations to be sold or to cease operating, ByteDance is now discussing selling parts of TikTok’s global operations to several potential bidders. And with so many groups jumping into the talks to get a piece of any deal, all are trying to drive their own interests and agendas.”

The Peninsula: Google CEO Sundar Pichai rules out buying TikTok

The Peninsula: Google CEO Sundar Pichai rules out buying TikTok. “Google Chief Executive Officer Sundar Pichai said the company has no plans to acquire TikTok. During an interview on the podcast show Pivot Schooled, Pichai was asked whether Google was going to buy the popular video app. ‘We are not,’ he replied.”

Google’s $2.1 billion Fitbit deal faces EU antitrust probe: sources (Reuters)

Reuters: Google’s $2.1 billion Fitbit deal faces EU antitrust probe: sources. “Google’s $2.1 billion bid for fitness tracker maker Fitbit will face a full-scale EU antitrust investigation next week, people familiar with the matter said on Thursday. Alphabet Inc unit Google this month offered not to use Fitbit’s health data to help it target ads in an attempt to address EU antitrust concerns. The opening of a full-scale investigation suggests that this is not sufficient.”

Exclusive: Google can ward off EU antitrust probe into Fitbit deal with data pledge – sources (Reuters)

Reuters: Exclusive: Google can ward off EU antitrust probe into Fitbit deal with data pledge – sources. “Google may be able to stave off a full-scale EU antitrust investigation into its planned $2.1 billion bid for fitness tracker maker Fitbit (FIT.N) by pledging not to use Fitbit’s health data for its ads, people familiar with the matter said.”

Consumer orgs ask world’s competition watchdogs: Are you really going to let Google walk off with all Fitbit’s data? (The Register)

The Register: Consumer orgs ask world’s competition watchdogs: Are you really going to let Google walk off with all Fitbit’s data?. “Twenty consumer and citizen rights groups have published an open letter [PDF] urging regulators to pay closer attention to Google parent Alphabet’s planned acquisition of Fitbit.”

The Star: Google acquires Kitchener-Waterloo-based smart glasses company North

The Star: Google acquires Kitchener-Waterloo-based smart glasses company North. “Google has acquired Kitchener-Waterloo-based smart glasses maker North. The company formerly known as Thalmic Labs announced the sale on its website, but neither company disclosed the value or terms of the deal and in an email Google Canada spokesperson Molly Morgan refused to offer specifics.”

TechCrunch: Mapillary, the crowdsourced database of street-level imagery, has been acquired by Facebook

TechCrunch: Mapillary, the crowdsourced database of street-level imagery, has been acquired by Facebook. “Mapillary, the Swedish startup that wants to take on Google and others in mapping the world via a crowdsourced database of street-level imagery, has been acquired by Facebook, according to the company’s blog. Terms of the deal aren’t being disclosed.” Ugh.