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M&A Report: Visa, Spotify and Alibaba In The News

M&A Report: Visa, Spotify and Alibaba In The News

In keeping with our mission to provide comprehensive advertising analysis, MediaRadar puts together a report of the most important mergers and acquisitions news each week. Stay in the loop, whether you sell advertising space or focus on business development. 

This week, Visa builds up payment protection, Spotify expands its revenue sources and Alibaba homes in on luxury distribution. 

Visa Acquires Payment Protection Company Verifi 

Visa announced that it has completed the acquisition of Verifi. 

Verifi is a payment protection and management firm providing payment protection solutions for merchants, payment facilitators, and issuers. 

Visa believes that combining Verifi’s dispute resolution and chargebacks elimination tools with its risk and fraud management services will facilitate and shorten the dispute process between merchants and consumers. The company also expects the acquisition to enhance its customer experience with data-driven tools and greater transparency during the process.

Spotify Continues to Add New Revenue Sources

Spotify announced that it has acquired SoundBetter, a company that connects artists to contractors, producers, and writers in the music industry. 

SoundBetter was founded in 2012 with the goal of helping musicians connect and hire music professionals worldwide, so they can fine-tune or improve the quality of their songs before release. The company currently has 180,000 registered users and to date has paid more than $19 million to musicians and producers. 

With this acquisition it is clear that Spotify is diversifying from its traditional subscription music business model into more behind-the-scenes music services; the company also acquired podcast production company Gimlet Media and podcast distribution company Anchor earlier this year

Alibaba Acquires Luxury Distributor  KaoLa

Chinese multinational e-commerce conglomerate Alibaba Group will acquire e-commerce division KaoLa from NetEase for about $2 billion. 

KoaLa specializes in the distribution of luxury brands in foreign fashion, cosmetics and electronic products in China. 

Alibaba plans to combine KaoLa with its international B2C platform Tmall.com, creating the largest cross-border e-commerce platform in China. NetEase was in talks earlier this year to merge KaoLa with Alibaba competitor Amazon China. The acquisition comes on the heels of Alibaba’s $700 million investment into NetEase Cloud Music. 

In Other News

These are some other notable deals and developments from the past week:

  • Conagra Brands announced that it is offloading its DSD direct-store-delivery snacks business to snack food brand Utz Quality Foods. The DSD business includes brands such as Tim’s Cascade Snacks, Hawaiian Snacks, Erin’s, Snyder of Berlin and Husman’s brands. 
  • Shopify announced its $450 million acquisition of warehouse automation developer 6 River Systems on Monday. The acquisition will contribute to the efficiency of Shopify’s Fulfillment Network service launched in June. 
  • Valence Media, owner of Billboard, plans to acquire Soundscan, the music industry data analytics business of Nielsen Holdings. The deal is expected to close later this year at a price in the eight-figure range. 
  • Activist hedge fund Elliott Management purchased $3.2 billion worth of AT&T common stock, according to an open letter to the company’s board. 
  • LSE London Stock Exchange announced that it has rejected an unsolicited offer of $36.6 billion from Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited, for regulatory reasons. The combination of the two groups would have created a global financial infrastructure group that connects the East and West, and become the world’s third biggest stock exchange in terms of total company market value, behind New York Stock Exchange and Nasdaq. 
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