MediaFile

Google buys into Zynga – report

zynga-pokerGoogle has invested as much as $200 million in social gaming company Zynga, as it looks to bolster its presence in the world of online gaming, according to technology blog TechCrunch.

According to TechCrunch, the investment may have been in conjunction with Softbank Capital’s deal to purchase a stake in Zynga, which makes games for social networks including Facebook and MySpace and profits by selling virtual goods.  In June, Nikkei reported that Softbank bought a stake in Zynga for about 13.5 billion yen ($147.4 million) through a private placement.

The site said that The investment was made by Google itself, not Google Ventures and that Zynga will be “the cornerstone of a new Google Games to launch later this year.” Zynga’s revenues for the first half of 2010 will be $350 million, half of which is operating profit, and is projecting at least $1.0 billion in revenue in 2011, according to the site.

Beatlemania re-surfaces on eve of Apple event

Britain’s Sky News caused a bit of a stir on the blogosphere on Tuesday after it cited John Lennon’s widow, Yoko Ono, as saying the Beatles back catalog was finally going for sale on iTunes: seemingly confirming a longstanding rumor that had gained momentum ahead of a widely watched Sept 9 Apple music-entertainment event.

But the report by the 24-hour news service, spotted by 9to5Mac and TechCrunch, among others, was stricken off the Sky News Web site hours later and discredited by a numner of other media outlets including Cnet. In response to Reuters’ queries, EMI, which owns the master recordings, sent us this from Ernesto Schmitt, EMI’s global catalog president:

“Conversations between Apple and EMI are ongoing and we look forward to the day when we can make the music available digitally. But it’s not tomorrow,” Schmitt said in comments first made to the Financial Times. Apple declined to comment.

from Commentaries:

#Twitter business math: Counting backward from billions

1 billion 

 

 

$140,000,000 = Projected 2010 revenue in U.S. dollars according to Twitter February 2009 financial forecast leaked to TechCrunch. (*2)

100 million = Projected number of Twitter users in fourth quarter 2010 according to leaked spreadsheet. (*2)

75 million = Twitter members in May 2009 based on rough calculation of worldwide users, extrapolated from comScore and All Things D data (*3, *4)

Twitter co-founder Biz Stone’s expected underwear

Even at a difficult moment, Twitter co-founder Biz Stone managed to be witty.

It fell to Stone to write about the hacker who broke in to the company’s computers and stole sensitive business information. His blog on the matter — the official statement from Twitter — was dubbed “Twitter, even more open than we wanted.”

Someone sent a trove of the Twitter documents to the Silicon Valley website TechCrunch. Stone’s blog clarified puzzling statements on TechCrunch that seemed to point toward Google Docs as the problem.  Said Stone: “This has nothing to do with any vulnerability in Google Apps which we continue to use.”

That must have come as a welcome relief at Google, which had been trying to explain the robustness of its security even as press agents for obscure security experts sent emails to suggest otherwise, so their clients would get a mention.

Could Google buy Twitter? Ask Arrington, then ask Swisher

******We sprinkled updates into this blog. We’re highlighting them like this.******Thanks to TechCrunch, U.S. tech reporters are about to spend another weekend working instead of playing. UPDATE: Or maybe Kara Swisher at All Things D will save them!******Two sources told proprietor Michael Arrington that Google “is in late stage negotiations to acquire Twitter.” He wrote:***

We don’t know the price but can assume its well, well north of the $250 million valuation that they saw in their recent funding.

***

Twitter turned down an offer to be bought by Facebook just a few months ago for half a billion dollars, although that was based partially on overvalued Facebook stock. Google would be paying in cash and/or publicly valued stock, which is equivalent to cash. So whatever the final acquisition value might be, it can’t be compared apples-to-apples with the Facebook deal.

***

Why would Google want Twitter? We’ve been arguing for some time that Twitter’s real value is in search. It holds the keys to the best real time database and search engine on the Internet, and Google doesn’t even have a horse in the game.

Yahoo: new boss, and (almost) everyone’s happy!

We’ve had two months to ruminate, speculate and analyze about who will take over as Yahoo chief executive after co-founder Jerry Yang who decided 18 months in the hotseat was enough for him.

Carol Bartz, former chief executive of Autodesk, was appointed CEO on Tuesday after her name had been floated ”on sources” a few days earlier in various reports.

Yahoo shares were flat on Wednesday morning and most Wall Street analysts viewed the appointment as a positive as it clears the way for Yahoo to do some sort of merger/outsourcing deal with Microsoft.

Microsoft, Yahoo, restless pigeons and balloons

Have you ever watched pigeons almost take flight as someone approaches, but after a brief flapping of wings decide to sit tight? That was the sense we got from reading the stories that knocked down the latest rumor about who will buy Internet search company Yahoo.

Here’s the story, posted by Michael Arrington’s TechCrunch blog:

Interest in troubled Internet giant Yahoo has not waned, it just took a break for the holidays.

A group of well known Silicon Valley executives and top investment bankers are putting together a Yahoo takeover deal that would be financed largely from debt supplied by Microsoft, we’ve learned from sources with knowledge of the proposed transaction.

Michael Arrington: Journalist, Lawyer, Self-parodist

Arrington_on_FacebookTechCrunchTechCrunch publisher and lead writer Michael Arrington got a jump on other April Fool’s pranksters with a Monday, March 31 post entitled “Why We’re Suing Facebook for $25 million in Statutory Damages”

But Arrington gave away the punchline at a news conference at Facebook offices in mid-March, when he surprised other reporters by volunteering how he and his lawyer had thought of suing Facebook for violations to Arrington’s privacy. It was all a big joke, Arrington, formerly a Sillicon Valley lawyer, said at the time.

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His Monday post says TechCrunch is filing a lawsuit against Facebook on April 1 seeking $25 million in damages, along with a related civil case for assault and battery and infliction of emotional distress.