Activision buys King, Amazon opens a physical bookstore, Airbnb wins political battle, Facebook crushes it, and Expedia buys HomeAway
Welcome to “The Week in Tech,” where we recap some of the most interesting technology and mobile stories from the past week.
This week we highlight Activision’s purchase of the maker of Candy Crush, Amazon’s new retail bookstore, the voting down of Proposition F, Facebook’s Q3 performance, and Expedia’s acquisition of HomeAway.
Activision buys King, maker of Candy Crush
Activision Blizzard has agreed to buy King, the parent company of the super popular mobile game Candy Crush, for $5.9 billion.
Activision, maker of some of the world’s most popular console and PC video games like Guitar Hero and Call of Duty, has largely ignored the mobile gaming space. Not anymore.
The purchase of King gives Activision access to 450 million monthly active users across 196 countries. The company sees a huge opportunity to expand their portfolio of mobile games and market them to the already engaged audience that King has cultivated.
Amazon opens a physical bookstore
Oh Amazon, how you mock Barnes & Noble and Borders. After making Borders go bankrupt and putting B&N on the ropes, Amazon has added insult to injury by opening its first physical bookstore in Seattle, called Amazon Books.
Amazon will use website sales data such as customer ratings and sales figures to determine which books will be stocked, and will present this data in-store to help shoppers make purchases. Some of the books will be curated as well.
In addition to selling books, Amazon will have its gadgets on display.
Amazon has recently experimented with physical stores and if Amazon Books is successful, the company will be sure to expand quickly.
Airbnb prevails as San Francisco votes down short-term housing regulations
Airbnb won a big political battle as the city of San Francisco rejected Proposition F, a ballot measure that would have limited short-term housing rentals to 75 nights a year.
Proponents of the bill, who include a group representing landlords and various hotel-related associations, claim that short-term home sharing sites like Airbnb are contributing to the skyrocketing housing costs in San Francisco because they take housing units off the market.
Airbnb, on the other hand, claims that the rejection of the bill is a victory for the middle- and working-class people who rent out their homes for income.
Airbnb spent $8 million to send out mailers, air TV spots, and deploy workers to knock on doors all over the city to rally citizens against the bill.
Facebook dominates in Q3
Facebook’s stock reached an all-time high as the company announced stellar third-quarter earnings.
The world’s largest social network continues to grow on all fronts. Monthly active users grew at a clip of 4.02%, better than last quarter’s 3.47%, to 1.55 billion. Revenue was up 41% year-over-year to $4.5 billion, topping analyst expectations of $4.37 billion.
Facebook continues to crush it on mobile as well. The social network now boasts 1.39 billion mobile monthly users and 894 million daily mobile users. Mobile generates 78% of the company’s advertising revenue as well.
The Facebook machine just keeps printing money.
Expedia buys HomeAway
Expedia has agreed to purchase vacation rental website HomeAway for $3.9 billion, creating the world’s largest online seller of lodging.
Expedia has been on a buying spree, acquiring Travelocity, Orbitz, and now HomeAway. Expedia will now offer over 1.3 million properties, surpassing Booking.com’s 821,000 as the largest amount available on the internet. Booking.com’s parent company Priceline doesn’t currently have a home sharing lodging site, but that may soon change.
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.
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