it's a deal
December 15, 2020

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have signed another production deal following their step back from the British royal family — this time with Spotify.

Spotify announced Tuesday it's entering into a "multi-year partnership" with the Duke and Duchess of Sussex's audio production company, Archewell Audio. Harry and Meghan will "produce and host" exclusive podcasts "that build community through shared experiences and values" under the deal, Spotify said.

"What we love about podcasting is that it reminds all of us to take a moment and to really listen, to connect to one another without distraction," the Duke and Duchess said. "With the challenges of 2020, there has never been a more important time to do so, because when we hear each other, and hear each other's stories, we are reminded of how interconnected we all are.”

This comes after Harry and Meghan, who in January dropped the bombshell announcement that they'd be stepping back as senior members of the royal family, in September signed a production deal with Netflix, under which they'll produce feature films and scripted shows, as well as children's programming and documentaries.

"Our focus will be on creating content that informs but also gives hope," Harry and Meghan said of the Netflix deal.

Former President Barack Obama and former first lady Michelle Obama previously signed a production deal with Netflix, and Axios notes the Obamas also signed their own Spotify deal, as well.

Spotify said a "holiday special" hosted by the Duke and Duchess highlighting "stories of hope and compassion from inspirational guests" is set to be released before the end of the year, but Archewell Audio's first complete Spotify podcast series will debut in 2021. Brendan Morrow

December 1, 2020

It's official: Salesforce has unveiled plans to acquire Slack in a $27.7 billion deal.

The company on Tuesday announced the Slack acquisition, the biggest deal since Salesforce's founding, The New York Times reported. The news came after The Wall Street Journal reported that the deal for the software company was in advanced discussions.

Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff described the purchase of Slack as "a match made in heaven," while Slack CEO Stewart Butterfield called this the "most strategic combination in the history of software."

Salesforce's acquisition of Slack will still need to receive approval from regulators and Slack shareholders, the Journal notes. But should it go through, the Journal writes that it would "turn the combined company into one of the biggest players in the competitive business-software market." Slack has said there has been a "significant increase in demand and usage" due to increased working from home during the COVID-19 pandemic, and in the three months that ended in October, its revenue rose 39 percent, the Times reports.

But analysts note this deal comes as Slack "faces heavy competition from Microsoft's Teams product," The Washington Post reports.

"When you're a scrappy start-up going against an 800-pound gorilla that's one of the most well-capitalized companies in existence, it's tough to compete," analyst Logan Purk told the Times. "This is more or less saying, 'We can't compete with Microsoft Teams anymore. We need more firepower.'" Brendan Morrow

October 23, 2016

Spain's Socialist Party on Sunday cleared the way to ending nearly a year of political deadlock by abstaining from a parliamentary vote which was then able to confirm Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy of the conservative People's Party (PP) for another term.

The abstention decision follows national elections in December and June which left no single party or coalition with a governing majority. The most recent election saw Rajoy's party take a plurality while the Socialists, the runner-up, lost five seats in parliament. A third general election would have been scheduled soon absent today's shift, and the Socialist Party was worried they might lose additional seats in the third vote.

"We went to win the elections, but since that didn't happen, we need that there is a government to act as the opposition," said Socialist interim party head Javier Fernandez of his party's unusual decision. Without a sweeping mandate from voters, Rajoy has said he must "work day to day, with humility and patience" to pursue his legislative agenda. Bonnie Kristian

November 3, 2015

Activision Blizzard Inc., the video game maker that owns World of Warcraft, Call of Duty, and Diablo, announced Monday it will buy Candy Crush Saga creator King Digital Entertainment for $5.9 billion.

The company will pay $18 in cash per King share, Reuters reports. In a statement, Activision Blizzard Chief Executive Bobby Kotick said: "With a combined global network of more than half a billion monthly active users, our potential to reach audiences around the world on the device of their choosing enables us to deliver great games to even bigger audiences than ever before." King, which creates games for mobile devices and social media platforms, will continue as an independent operating unit, the companies said in a statement. Catherine Garcia

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