DEALS: Verizon, MCI end bidding war; Mobile Content Mergers Galore


DEALS

WHO

WITH

WHAT

SCOOP

Verizon Communications

MCI

Verizon finally won MCI with its latest bid of $8.5B.

This deal ends a three-month bidding war between Verizon and Qwest for the right to acquire MCI. The deal will also increase competitive pressure on smaller carriers like Qwest.

Sprint

Intel

Sprint and Intel announced a partnership to help develop WiMax broadband wireless equipment.

Many insiders interpret this deal as a sign that Sprint is seriously considering 802.16e as an option for wireless data services. Some speculate that Sprint may use the mobile version of WiMax to compliment its 3G network.

China Mobile

MTV

MTV forged a mobile content partnership with China Mobile.

MTV and China Mobile will launch MTV Zone, a mobile TV service that will distribute MTV branded content to China Mobile's subscribers.

For-side.com

iTouch

Japanese mobile content giant For-side.com agreed to acquire UK mobile content publisher iTouch for $343M through several deals.

Independent News & Media agreed to sell its 37.4% stake in iTouch to For-side.com for roughly €100M in cash. For-side.com already controls 4.5% of iTouch. For-side.com plans to use iTouch's partnerships to expand its presence in the European mobile content market. For-side.com claims 12.5M users worldwide.

Cisco Systems

Sipura

Cisco agreed to acquire consumer VoIP technology maker Sipura Technology for $68M.

Sipura provides consumer and SoHo grade VoIP technology for Linksys' line of VoIP networking devices. Specifically, Sipura develops analog telephone adapters and multiline IP phones.

Visto

Vodafone, Rogers Wireless

Visto inked mobile email partnerships with Vodafone and Rogers Wireless.

Vodafone launched a new mobile push email service that will span Vodafone's networks throughout Europe. It also announced a deployment with Canadian carrier Rogers Wireless. Visto is a member of the 2004 FierceWireless Fierce 15, an annual list of the top emerging wireless companies.

SK Telecom

Pantech

SK Telecom sold 60% of its handset business, SK Teletech, to Pantech for approximately $299M.

SK Telecom will maintain a 29.1% stake in SK Teletech, making it the company's second-largest shareholder. SK Telecom will maintain its strategic position with SK Teletech, working with the company to develop new mobile devices.

Samsung

Kodiak Networks

Samsung and P2T technology provider Kodiak Networks inked a deal to bundle Kodiak's P2T client on an undisclosed number of Samsung mobile devices.

The phones will use Kodiak's voice platform, which uses push-to-talk-over-cellular (PoC) to enable a variety of premium, instant voice applications. No financial details of the deal were released. Kodiak Networks is a member of the 2004 FierceWireless Fierce 15, an annual list of the top emerging wireless companies.

RealNetworks

Mr. Goodliving

RealNetworks has entered the mobile gaming market by agreeing to buy Finland-based mobile gaming company Mr.Goodliving for $15M.

RealNetworks expects to generate roughly $3M in additional revenue this year through the deal. RealNetworks entered the online gaming market in 2001 with its RealArcade brand.

Google

Dodgeball.com

Google agreed to acquire Dodgeball.com for an undisclosed sum.

Dodgeball.com offers an online service that lets mobile users find one another for in-person meetings.

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