Disney completes massive $71 billion Fox takeover

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Mickey Mouse Disney Apple Watch Series 4
Disney and Apple could be a clash for the ages.
Photo: Ian Fuchs/Cult of Mac

Disney has officially completed its acquisition of 21st Century Fox, one of the biggest entertainment deals in history.

The $71 billion deal puts Disney in control of Fox’s movie and TV studios, the FX networks, National Geographic, and India’s Star India station. It also puts Disney is its strongest position yet to challenge the might of Netflix — along with whatever streaming service Apple comes up with.

Apple’s new acquisition will help it better market to customers

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DataTiger 2
Apple pounced on this startup like a, well, a DataTiger.
Screenshot: DataTiger

Apple has reportedly snapped up U.K.-based digital marketing company DataTiger.

The company offers tools for optimizing companies’ “marketing flows for … customers in real-time across all channels.” This makes it possible to better target customers with relevant materials and advertisements.

Apple acquires AI startup with a focus on privacy

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Silk Labs
Silk Labs' privacy policy reads like it was written by Tim Cook.
Photo: Silk Labs

Apple has reportedly acquired an artificial intelligence startup that specializes in on-device machine learning software.

Silk Labs’ technology processes data without sending it to the cloud, which is a perfect fit for Apple’s privacy-conscious approach to AI. It’s not clear how much Cupertino paid for the company when the deal was struck earlier this year.

Apple’s Face ID supplier has been acquired for $3.2 billion

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VCSEL
The company that made Face ID possible has been snapped up.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Finisar, supplier of the laser scanners used to enable Face ID in Apple’s latest iOS devices, has been acquired for a reported $3.2 billion.

II-VI Incorporated, a leading producer of optoelectronic systems, announced its purchase on Friday. It expects to close the deal, which is expected to generate $2.5 billion in annual revenue, in mid-2019 following regulatory approval.

Apple’s acquisition of Shazam now in the hands of antitrust regulators

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Shazam iPhone
Apple must wait for EU approval.
Photo: Killian Bell/Cult of Mac

Apple has formerly requested approval for its Shazam acquisition from the European Commission.

EU antitrust regulators confirmed last month that they had launched an investigation into the deal following concerns from seven European countries. Apple will get a decision next month, but it may not be final.

Analysts: There’s a 40 percent chance Apple will acquire Netflix

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Netflix has a plan to win over new subscribers in an age of Apple TV+
Our take? Don't count on it.
Image: Netflix

Citi analysts claim that there is a 40 percent chance that Apple will acquire Netflix in 2018.

Analysts Jim Suva and Asiya Merchant peg their prediction on the extra cash that Apple could have on its hands following President Trump’s recent tax cut — thereby allowing it to repatriate around $220 billion in cash.

According to Suva and Merchant, Apple would need just one third of that cash to buy Netflix.

Apple dives deeper into AI with latest acquisition

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photos in ios 10
Regaind could give iOS Photos an AI boost.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Apple has quietly made another acquisition of a little-known startup that could bring some big benefits to iPhone and iPad users in the future.

A small France startup called Regaind was reportedly acquired by Apple. The company specializes in using machine learning to recognize what’s in a photo, which could boost some features Apple already created in its photos app.

Buying Disney could give Apple the magic it needs, says analyst

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Walt Disney's Mickey Mouse, Circa 1930
Apple's next big purchase?
Photo: Walt Disney

RBC Capital analyst Amit Daryanani has a suggestion for how Apple could spend its cash stockpile, while also growing its presence in media: buy the Walt Disney Company.

“There are plenty of factors to consider,” Daryanani wrote in a note to investors, “but such a deal would create a tech/media juggernaut like no other and instantly scale AAPL’s services, content, and media portfolio, which would make the case for a higher valuation.”