Welcome to this week’s installment of “The Week in Tech,” where we recap some of the most interesting technology and mobile stories from the past week.
This week we cover Square’s discussions about being acquired, Facebook’s mobile ad network, Nike’s nix on Fuelbands, and the FCC’s new net neutrality proposal.
Square discussed a sale to Google. Maybe.
Square had discussions with Google to possibly be acquired. Or maybe they didn’t. They may have had conversations with Apple and eBay as well. Or nothing of the sort happened.
The Wall Street Journal reported earlier in the week that Square was discussing a sale to Google (subscription may be required) and had informal acquisition conversations with Apple and eBay, but then TechCrunch disputed it.
Regardless of what did or did not happen, Square has seen much success in penetrating the point-of-sale payments market but still lost $100 million last year, more than the prior year. They’re competing in tough market with razor-thin margins, so they would be a prime acquisition target for the large tech firms looking to bolster their mobile payments efforts.
Facebook to launch mobile ad network
The next step in Mark Zuckerberg’s plan for world domination? Launch a mobile ad network.
Facebook has vastly improved its mobile ad offerings, recently announcing during its quarterly earnings call that ad clicks climbed 70% in the year ending March 30. So now that it has its home base covered, the company turns its focus to serving ads on other people’s apps. The new mobile ad network will be announced at the company’s F8 developer conference.
Nike to stop making FuelBands
Nike is preparing to halt its wearable hardware initiatives and fired the majority of the 70 employees in the Digital Sport group.
The company plans to terminate further development of hardware like the FuelBand and Nike+ SportWatch but will continue to work on fitness and health-tracking software.
It’s probably a good time for Nike to get out of the wearables market. Hardware isn’t their core competency and there has been a huge increase in competition, with a bevy of devices running on Android entering the fray and Apple’s iWatch coming soon. But the rumor is that they’ve been in discussions with Apple to partner on the next wearables project, which would make a lot of sense.
FCC proposes new net neutrality rules. Are they really neutral?
The Federal Communications Commission announced a new proposal for net neutrality yesterday and the debate on whether the net is really neutral rages on.
Critics decried the new proposal because it allows traffic management in some instances, which will be reviewed by the FCC on a case-by-case basis. So yeah, I guess Netflix can continue to pay Comcast for faster delivery.
But FCC head Tom Wheeler defended the proposal, which does include rules saying broadband providers can’t block legal Web traffic nor “act in a commercially unreasonable manner to harm the Internet, including favoring the traffic from an affiliated entity.” What exactly does “a commercially unreasonable manner” mean, Tom?
What do you think of these stories? Have you read other interesting mobile and technology stories this week that are worth mentioning? Feel free to add your thoughts to the comments.
Image courtesy of Square