Deals and IPOs

Apple buys Topsy, Chernin gobbles up Crunchyroll

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Two small but notable tech acquisitions took place Monday as bigger players branched out into niche interests.

Apple acquired social media search and analytics start-up Topsy, an unusual purchase for a hardware-focused company that has made few forays into social networking.

"Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans," an Apple spokeswoman said.

The Wall Street Journal, which reported the news earlier, cited people familiar with the deal as saying Apple forked over more than $200 million for the business.

Topsy could help Apple sell targeted advertising on iTunes radio, but it's still unclear how the company intends to use Topsy.

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The second acquisition had more international flavor than the Apple-Topsy deal. Chernin Group—former News Corp president Peter Chernin's holding company—took control of Japanese anime streaming service Crunchyroll.

Headquartered in San Francisco, Crunchyroll has a free, ad-supported service and a subscription service that the Cherin group says has subscribers in more than 160 countries. The company delivers content from Japanese studios and broadcasters to viewers outside of Japan on desktops, mobile phones and other devices.

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Chernin, which made a bid to buy Hulu earlier this year, said it had acquired majority control of Crunchyroll, but did not disclose the the price of the transaction.

A source with knowledge of the matter said the cost neared $100 million.

The Chernin Group said it will maintain majority control although Crunchyroll management and existing investor TV Tokyo will maintain a "significant'' stake.

—By Reuters