Facebook moves 1.5 billion users from Ireland to U.S. escaping EU privacy laws

You would expect that with the level of scrutiny that Facebook is now under following the Cambridge Analytica scandal, the company would be on its best behavior. But that doesn’t seem to matter to Mark Zuckerberg and crew. Consider that on May 25th, Europe’s new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) law goes into effect. Simply put, the new law prevents personal data from being used without express consent. Considering that the penalty for failing to comply is a whopping 4% of a company’s global revenues, you might see why it behooves Facebook to keep its nose clean.

However, Facebook …


Report: Qualcomm starts laying off workers to cut $1 billion in expenses

After the president last month blocked chip maker Qualcomm from being purchased by Broadcom for $117 billion, the company’s former CEO, Paul Jacobs, reportedly starting drawing up plans to take the company private. But this potential transaction, if it ever happens, is still two months away by all accounts. And because there is no deal on the table at present, Qualcomm has started to fulfill a promise made in January to cut costs by $1 billion.

Today, the company that produces the Snapdragon line of mobile chips announced that it will be laying off an unknown number of employees. While …

Spotify's shares open at $165.90 valuing the music streamer at $29 billion

The world’s largest music streamer, Spotify, just went public with the first trade priced at $165.90. That is a 25.7% jump from the reference price of $132 placed on the stock by the NYSE last night. The full name of the company is Spotify Technology SA, and shares trade on the Big Board under the ticker symbol SPOT. At the opening price, Spotify has a valuation of $29 billion, 45% higher than the $20 billion valuation placed on the firm this past February.

This is an unusual IPO since Spotify has not hired any underwriters to help bring the company public. Under a plan being tested out …

Subway Surfers is world's first game to reach 1 billion downloads on the Play Store

Developers SYBO and Kiloo Games have just announced their endless runner Subway Surfers is world’s first game to reach 1 billion downloads on Google Play Store.

Subway Surfers made its debut on mobile devices almost six years ago, but the teams behind it never stopped supporting the game and adding new content to it on a monthly basis. According to developers, Subway Surfers was the most downloaded game of 2017.

Apparently, last year the game broke through its all-time annual download record with more than 400 million mostly organic downloads on both Android and iOS platforms. But …

Music streamer Spotify files for an IPO; company could be valued as high as $23 billion

With 71 million paid subscribers, and 88 million listening to an ad-supported free tier of service, Spotify is the world’s largest streamer of music. Spotify might not hold that position forever, which is why the company has decided that now is the time to file for an IPO (Initial Public Offering). In second place is Apple Music, which has garnered a total of 36 million paid subscribers and is projected to surpass Spotify in the U.S. by this summer. Apple does not have a free ad supported tier of service although it does offer a free three-month trial.

One of the bad things about going public, …

Qualcomm says that for $160 billion, it will agree to a purchase by Broadcom

The last time we checked in on the soap opera that is Broadcom’s attempt to acquire Qualcomm, the latter had just raised its bid for auto chip maker NXP by 16% to $44 billion. That made Broadcom a little ticked off, to say the least. So the wireless and telecom chip provider decided to cut its offer for Qualcomm by 4% to $117 billion, or $79 a share from the previous $82 a share bid.

But all of this financial maneuvering is covering up what is really going on here. On March 6th, Qualcomm stockholders vote for the company’s Board of Directors. There are 11 seats on the board, and Broadcom …

Fire Emblem Heroes brings Nintendo nearly one third of a billion dollars in just one year

It was truly a great year for Nintendo and not just due to the success of the Switch, but its mobile gaming business seems to have brought the Japanese company a lot of money. As expected, Super Mario Run is far from being the most financially successful game launched by Nintendo, and neither is the rather newly released Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp.

According to new data published by SensorTower, Fire Emblem Heroes is Nintendo’s most successful mobile game to date. The title that was launched last year already brought the Japanese company $295 million in worldwide player spend, which is …

Qualcomm raises bid for auto chip maker NXP to $44 billion; Broadcom could hike offer for Qualcomm

Way before Broadcom made its initial bid for fellow chipmaker Qualcomm in November, the latter had gone after NXP Technologies. Qualcomm proposed a transaction for the largest producer of chips for automobiles, valued at $110 a share, back in October 2016. Since then, the deal has been approved by regulators around the world except in China. The regulatory agency in that country has yet to weigh in with a response.

While regulators have given the deal a thumbs up, NXP stockholders weren’t as happy with the price offered by Qualcomm. So this morning, the company raised its bid for NXP to …

AT&T reports $20 billion tax cuts profit windfall, record low subscriber churn

The $1.5 trillion tax cuts that the government passed last month is beginning to look great for companies like AT&T or Verizon, which had a bunch of deferred taxes on their books. After Verizon announced it can now tack $17 billion in extra profit to its quarterly results, thanks to the new tax law, AT&T came out swinging, and booked $20 billion in Q4.

That’s right, the carrier will be having a windfall, but mostly on paper, as due to the capital-intensive nature of the carrier business, those taxes could have been put off indefinitely anyway. Still, the move to bring …

Lenovo, Xiaomi, other smartphone makers to buy $2 billion worth of Qualcomm components

After being hit with a $1.2 billion fine for paying Apple to keep its LTE modems exclusive, Qualcomm announces a $2 billion deal with Chinese smartphone makers.

Lenovo, Xiaomi, Oppo, and Vivo have signed a deal with Qualcomm to buy $2 billion worth of components over the next three years. According to the US company, this is a non-binding agreement, which means either party can break off negotiations at any time.

The official statement doesn’t mention Qualcomm’s mobile processors, but RFFE components that are designed to enable OEMs to build more complex mobile devices at larger scales. …