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Posts tagged with "acquisition"

Automattic Acquires Interoperable Messaging Service Texts

Source: Texts.

Source: Texts.

Today, Automattic acquired Texts, a startup that’s been building a one-stop destination for managing your many chat and messaging apps in one place.

Automattic, which runs blogging platform and Tumblr, has been acquiring a growing list of companies in recent years, including the makers of apps like Day One and Pocket Casts. The company’s latest purchase marks its first foray into messaging.

Texts is a paid service that allows users to send and receive messages on several platforms, including iMessage, WhatsApp, Telegram, Signal, Messenger, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Slack, and Discord DMs, from a single app. There are other companies, like Beeper, attempting something similar using the open-source protocol Matrix, but Texts is a little different. It has developed its own technology stack for handling messages from multiple services that the company says doesn’t require it to send them across its servers and is end-to-end encrypted. Instead, Texts sends messages directly from one of its supported messaging platforms to another. Currently, Texts is available on the Mac, Windows, and Linux, with an iOS app under development and Android on the company’s roadmap too.

I had a chance to speak with Automattic CEO Matt Mullenweg about the acquisition, and it was clear from our conversation that he views it as a natural next step in the company’s support of open web platforms. It’s also a great fit with and Tumblr’s embrace of the ActivityPub protocol, which powers Mastodon and other federated social networks.

With the list of companies that offer some sort of siloed messaging that doesn’t interoperate with any others continuing to grow, I imagine the demand for a service like Texts’ is only going to grow over time. Backed by Automattic, Texts should have the resources to bring interoperability to more messaging services and grow its support for additional OSes more quickly, making it more competitive in what I expect will become an increasingly competitive market as lawmakers and regulators continue to put pressure on tech companies to make their messaging platforms more open.

Apple Announces Acquisition of Intel’s Smartphone Modem Business

As the stock market closed in the US, Apple announced the acquisition of Intel’s smartphone modem business. As part of the deal, 2,200 Intel employees will join Apple. The company is also buying intellectual property and other assets from Intel like equipment and real estate associated with the business. According to Apple’s press release, the companies anticipate that the transaction will be consummated in the fourth quarter of 2019, subject to regulatory and other conditions.

Apple says that:

Combining the acquired patents for current and future wireless technology with Apple’s existing portfolio, Apple will hold over 17,000 wireless technology patents, ranging from protocols for cellular standards to modem architecture and modem operation. Intel will retain the ability to develop modems for non-smartphone applications, such as PCs, internet-of-things devices and autonomous vehicles.

Commenting on the deal, Johny Srouji, Apple senior Vice President of Hardware Technology said:

“We’ve worked with Intel for many years and know this team shares Apple’s passion for designing technologies that deliver the world’s best experiences for our users,” said Johny Srouji, Apple’s senior vice president of Hardware Technologies. “Apple is excited to have so many excellent engineers join our growing cellular technologies group, and know they’ll thrive in Apple’s creative and dynamic environment. They, together with our significant acquisition of innovative IP, will help expedite our development on future products and allow Apple to further differentiate moving forward.”

Given Apple’s two-year court battle with Qualcomm that resulted in a settlement earlier this year, the deal with Intel is not surprising. Ever since Apple’s acquisition of P.A. Semi in 2008, Apple has been buying hardware companies that have allowed it to make more of the components that are crucial to the iPhone and its other products. The Intel deal, however, is one of Apple’s largest acquisitions and demonstrates just how serious the company is about 5G technology and gaining independence from Qualcomm.