Apple Inc. is developing an advanced heart-monitoring feature for future versions of its smartwatch, part of a broader push by the company to turn what was once a luxury fashion accessory into a serious medical device, according to people familiar with the plan.
Apple is preparing three iPhones for launch as soon as this fall, including upgraded versions of the current two iPhone models and a new top-of-the-line handset with an overhauled look, according to people familiar with the matter. For the redesigned phone, Apple is testing a new type of screen, curved glass and stainless steel materials, and more advanced cameras, the people said.
Typically, a handful of Facebook employees manage communications just for him, helping write his posts and speeches, while an additional dozen or so delete harassing comments and spam on his page, say two people familiar with the matter.
Snapchat will seek to raise as much as $4 billion in its planned initial public offering, according to people familiar with the matter.
Apple Inc. has drastically scaled back its automotive ambitions, leading to hundreds of job cuts and a new direction that, for now, no longer includes building its own car, according to people familiar with the project.
Hundreds of members of the car team, which comprises about 1,000 people, have been reassigned, let go, or have left of their own volition in recent months, the people said, asking not to be identified because the moves aren’t public.
10/5/2016: Jack Dorsey Is Losing Control of Twitter
A few days before Twitter’s Sept. 8 board meeting, as the company’s finance team readied a presentation, it received conflicting directions on a crucial question. Should their slides reflect Twitter’s prospects as an independent company or delve into the benefits of getting acquired?
Jack Dorsey, Twitter’s chief executive officer, argued that the 10-year-old company should remain on its current course and work to capitalize on recent product improvements and success in streaming live video, people familiar with the discussions said. Ev Williams, a former CEO who has a history of clashing with Dorsey, was in favor of exploring a sale. Other directors agreed they had a fiduciary duty to consider that option. The board ultimately decided to consider takeover prospects after getting an expression of interest from a potential acquirer, which led it to hire Goldman Sachs and Allen & Co. to evaluate possible bids.
Pfizer Inc. is close to an agreement to buy Medivation Inc. for about $14 billion, people familiar with the situation said.
The deal may be announced as early as Monday, said the people, who asked not to be identified. The biotech company’s shares closed at $67.16 on Friday, giving it a market value of $11.1 billion.
Apple Inc. has hit roadblocks in making major changes that would connect its Watch to cellular networks and make it less dependent on the iPhone, according to people with knowledge of the matter. The company still plans to announce new watch models this fall boasting improvements to health tracking.
The updated versions will also be able to integrate GPS-based location tracking, according to the people, who asked not to be identified because the plans aren’t public. An Apple spokeswoman declined to comment.
Apple Inc. has hired the former head of BlackBerry Ltd.’s automotive software division as new leadership at the iPhone-maker’s car team places increased emphasis on developing self-driving technology, according to people familiar with the project.
Donald Trump plans to create and fund super-PACs specifically aimed at ending the political careers of Ted Cruz and John Kasich should either run for office again, after both snubbed the Republican nominee during his party’s convention this week, a source familiar with Trump’s thinking told Bloomberg Politics on Friday.
Walt Disney Co. agreed to acquire a one-third stake in the video-streaming unit of MLB Advanced Media, in a deal valued at about $3.5 billion, according to a person familiar with the matter.
Disney, the owner of ESPN and ABC, will retain a four-year option to buy an additional 33 percent stake in the digital arm of Major League Baseball, said the person, who asked not to be identified because the information isn’t public. WME-IMG, the parent of William Morris Endeavor and the owner of media properties including the Miami Open tennis tournament, was among the bidders for a stake in the business, the person said.
6/2/2016: Snapchat Passes Twitter in Daily Usage
Snapchat Inc. has 150 million people using the service each day, said people familiar with the matter. That makes the four-year-old messaging app more popular than Twitter Inc. by daily active users.
Snapchat has been growing quickly, boosted by its popularity among young people. The app had 110 million daily users in December, said the people, who asked not to be named because they weren’t authorized to speak about the numbers.
Twitter Inc. will soon stop counting photos and links in their 140-character limit for tweets, according to a person familiar with the matter.
The change could happen in the next two weeks, said the person who asked not to be named because the decision isn’t yet public. Links currently take up 23 characters, even after Twitter automatically shortens them. The company declined to comment.
Sports Authority Inc.’s hopes to avoid liquidation are fading.
With bids for Sports Authority’s assets and leases due Wednesday, Modell’s Sporting Goods Inc. has backed away from a potential deal for the chain that would have kept some of the stores operating under their current name, according to people with knowledge of the matter.
New York-based Modell’s, the only potential buyer to express interest in keeping the Sports Authority brand going, had been in talks with the company and its creditors for weeks, said the people, asking not to be named because the negotiations are private. It walked away because the two sides couldn’t agree on a price, the people said.
Apple Inc. is planning sweeping changes to its year-old music streaming service after the first iteration of the product was met with tepid reviews and several executives brought in to revive the company’s music strategy departed.
Apple is altering the user interface of Apple Music to make it more intuitive to use, according to people familiar with the product who asked not to be identified because the plans aren’t public. Apple also plans to better integrate its streaming and download businesses and expand its online radio service, the people said. The reboot is expected to be unveiled at the company’s Worldwide Developers Conference in June. The changes will be accompanied by a marketing blitz to lure more customers to the $10-per-month streaming service. An Apple spokesman declined to comment.
4/26/2016: The Real Story of How Amazon Built the Echo
Bezos declined an interview request to discuss the speaker’s development, but 10 current and former Amazon employees agreed to talk, mostly on the condition of anonymity because they hadn’t been authorized to do so by the company. This is the story of what they built.
Univision Holdings Inc., the largest Spanish-language broadcaster in the U.S., is aiming for the second half of the year for its initial public offering that could raise as much as $1 billion, according to people with knowledge of the matter.
The New York-based company is waiting for better market conditions to sell its shares to the public, the people said, asking not to be named because the discussions are private. No final decision has been made on the timing of the deal, the people said.
Verizon Communications Inc. plans to make a first-round bid for Yahoo Inc.’s Web business next week, and is willing to acquire the company’s Yahoo Japan Corp. stake to help sweeten the offer, according to people familiar with the matter.
Google, the main division of Alphabet Inc., is also considering bidding for Yahoo’s core business, a separate person said.
A plan by billionaire Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. to gain control of Australia’s largest pay-television provider would give the company a freer hand to accelerate price cuts and buy new shows to compete with Netflix Inc.
News Corp. and Telstra Corp., the joint owners of pay-television service Foxtel, are considering a deal that would reduce Telstra’s stake in the venture and take News Corp.’s to 51 percent, according to people with knowledge of the matter.
Pressure on Twitter Inc.’s board is mounting.
In the three months since the company started searching for a new chief executive officer, the stock has slipped 22 percent and several product executives have left. A leading internal candidate, according to people close to the board, is interim leader and co-founder Jack Dorsey — who’s already CEO at a company on the verge of an initial public offering.
Twitter’s board meets Thursday and plans to discuss the results from the search so far, said the people, who asked not to be named because the process is private. Investors are getting impatient for directors to make a decision, or at least give a detailed update on the process, said Colin Sebastian, an analyst at Robert W. Baird & Co.
Square Inc., the mobile-payments company founded and led by Jack Dorsey, the interim chief executive officer of Twitter Inc., filed confidentially for an initial public offering, people with knowledge of the matter said.
Apple is working on a new larger-screened version of the iPad that could appeal to corporate customers looking to use the device as a replacement for a laptop computer, people familiar with the plans have said.
Ferrari SpA, the supercar maker being spun off by Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV, picked UBS Group AG to help manage its initial public offering in New York later this year, people with knowledge of the matter said.
Apple Inc. has started early production of new iPhone models with a feature called Force Touch, which senses how hard users are pressing down on a screen, people with knowledge of the matter said.
New York Mayor Bill de Blasio and the City Council are close to agreeing on a $78 billion budget that would increase the number of police officers while suppressing overtime costs, said two people familiar with the talks.
While an exact number hasn’t been determined, it will be fewer than the 1,000 new officers that council members have sought, said the people, who weren’t authorized to speak publicly because the negotiations are continuing. An agreement could be announced as early as Monday or Tuesday night, they said.
Status: Now confirmed
5/18/2015: Jawbone gets a loan and a leash
Jawbone, the San Francisco maker of wearable technology, recently got a hefty $300 million investment from BlackRock, the largest and one of the most trusted asset management companies in the world.
But the investment wasn’t a $300 million cash infusion, I learned recently. According to documents filed in California and to people close to the deal, BlackRock is giving Jawbone, which makes speakers, Bluetooth headsets and fitness trackers, a $300 million loan.
Charter Communications Inc. continues to work on a takeover of Bright House Networks LLC, seeing the deal as a precursor to a bid for Time Warner Cable Inc., people with knowledge of the matter said.
The companies are in active discussions to reach a new deal, the people said, during an exclusivity period that lasts through most of May. The talks may continue even after that exclusivity ends, the people said.
Status: Somewhat verified
Greek banks are increasingly being hampered from trading currencies, one of most liquid markets, as international dealers cut back credit lines and costs soar, according to people with knowledge of the trades.
Unit sales in the region plunged 25 percent last quarter, worse than any other location. Avon has been considering a sale of the business or some other deal, according to people familiar with the matter.
Salesforce.com Inc. is working with financial advisers to help it field takeover offers after being approached by a potential acquirer, people with knowledge of the matter said.
There is no certainty any deal will transpire, the people said, asking not to be named because the information is private. The people didn’t identify potential acquirers. Bankers may help rebuff any suitor or work out an eventual sale, one of the people said.
Advisers for Charter Communications Inc. have reached out to Time Warner Cable Inc. to begin friendly talks on an acquisition after Comcast Corp. withdrew its bid for the company, people with knowledge of the matter said.
Status: Somewhat verified
4/23/2015: Comcast plans to drop Time Warner Cable deal
Comcast Corp. is planning to walk away from its proposed $45 billion takeover of Time Warner Cable Inc., people with knowledge of the matter said, after regulators planned to oppose the deal.
Earlier in 2013 the company was struggling to turn preorders of its vehicles into actual sales. As Musk put his staff on crisis footing to save Tesla, he also began negotiating a deal to sell the company to Google through his friend Larry Page, the search giant’s co-founder and chief executive officer, according to two people with direct knowledge of the deal. Tesla spokesman Ricardo Reyes and Google spokeswoman Rachel Whetstone declined to comment. “I don’t want to speculate on rumors,” Page said when I asked him if Google had considered buying Tesla, adding that a “car company is pretty far from what Google knows.”
Altera Corp. rejected an offer of about $54 a share from Intel Corp., breaking off talks to be acquired by the world’s largest chipmaker, people familiar with the negotiations said Thursday.
4/2/2015: I want my Snapchat TV
Five days before the March 25 broadcast premiere of Big Time in Hollywood, FL, a new Comedy Central show produced by actor Ben Stiller, the network released its first episode on Snapchat. In January the messaging app, known mostly for letting its young users share annotated photos that vanish shortly afterward, added a “Discover” feature, a menu of free channels from 11 media companies that publish video clips and news stories directly to Snapchat. Two people who work for Snapchat’s channel partners say their daily video clips and written stories average more than 1 million viewers; they declined to discuss specific viewership numbers or revenue. Big Time won’t be Comedy Central’s last Snapchat premiere, says Senior Vice President Steve Grimes.
A Florida eye doctor is expected to soon face federal criminal charges as part of a corruption inquiry into U.S. Senator Robert Menendez, according to two people familiar with the case.
Spotify Ltd. has held talks with potential content partners to add podcasts to its music-streaming service, challenging Apple Inc. in a business it dominates, according to people briefed on the matter.
Slack Technologies Inc., whose software helps people collaborate at work, is in talks with investors to raise financing at a valuation of more than $2 billion, according to people with knowledge of the matter.
CBS Corp. Chief Executive Officer Les Moonves has been preparing for the future — and how Time Warner Inc. might be part of it.
Moonves and his counterpart at Time Warner, Jeff Bewkes, discussed the idea of combining their companies in meetings last year, three people with knowledge of the matter said. Bewkes wasn’t interested, said two of the people, who asked not to be named because the discussions were private.
Dong Energy AS, the Danish state-owned utility, is considering spinning off or selling its oil exploration and production unit, three people with knowledge of the matter said.
Viacom Inc. will cut staff across the company as it grapples with shrinking audiences and advertising sales at cable channels such as MTV and Comedy Central, according to people with knowledge of the matter.
OAO GMK Norilsk Nickel, Russia’s largest miner, and steelmaker PAO Severstal are among exporters converting more of their dollars and euros into local currency, according to company filings and people with knowledge of the situation. It’s a policy encouraged by the government to help stabilize the ruble after its 47 percent plunge last year.
Barclays Plc will shrink its 2014 bonus pool more than 17 percent to less than 2 billion pounds ($3.1 billion) as the U.K.’s second-largest lender cuts back its investment bank, a person with knowledge of its compensation strategy said.
Vice Media Inc. Chief Executive Officer Shane Smith paid for a $300,000 Las Vegas dinner last month, according to a person who asked not to be identified because the meal was private. Smith, a Vice co-founder, had been on a lucky gambling run, the person said.
The New York Times wrote about this too.
United Steelworkers will resume talks on a national labor contract for 30,000 oil workers on Feb. 10, said two people with knowledge of the negotiations.
In the first half of this year, tweets will start to be visible in Google’s search results as soon as they’re posted, thanks to a deal giving the Web company access to Twitter’s firehose, the stream of data generated by the microblogging service’s 284 million users, people with knowledge of the matter said Wednesday.
Google is preparing to offer its own ride-hailing service, most likely in conjunction with its long-in-development driverless car project. Drummond has informed Uber’s board of this possibility, according to a person close to the Uber board, and Uber executives have seen screenshots of what appears to be a Google ride-sharing app that is currently being used by Google employees.
Status: Still unverified