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Weekly Highlights: Apple's Rumored $3.2 Billion Beats Deal, Netflix Price Hike And More

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This week ended with a shocker: Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) could buy Beats Electronics for $3.2 billion.

Investors might remember that this is the same price that Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) paid for Nest.

Elsewhere, famed VC Fred Wilson gave his prediction for which companies will rule technology. Apple wasn't on that list.

Netflix (NASDAQ: NFLX) announced that it will increase the price of its service for virtually all of its members -- in two years. New subscribers will pay $1 more from here on out.

Google, Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT), Facebook (NASDAQ: FB), Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) and other tech companies teamed up to fight for net neutrality.

Activision (NASDAQ: ATVI) announced that it plans to spend $500 million on Destiny.

And Snapchat settled with the FTC.

Disclosure: At the time of this writing, Louis Bedigian had no position in the equities mentioned in this slideshow.

Posted-In: Activision Amazon Apple Beats Electronics DestinyNews Rumors Tech Best of Benzinga

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    Apple Expected To Buy Beats Electronics For $3.2 Billion

    Apple Expected To Buy Beats Electronics For $3.2 Billion

    Apple is mostly known for making quiet, low-key acquisitions that will enhance its business over time.

    That could change if the company pours $3.2 billion into Beats Electronics.

    The deal is not set in stone, but numerous reports claim that Apple is at least talking to Beats about a possible acquisition.

    "The brand enhancement doesn't seem to resonate given that Apple has the strongest brand in the world, according to Interbrand," BTIG analyst Walter Piecyk told Benzinga.

    Piecyk isn't convinced that Beats will alter consumers' interest in Apple.

    "Apple's products are expensive," he said. "I think if [they] were cheaper, [consumers would] buy more Apple products. The music service is something that's interesting, but there's no critical scale there, and it's not clear if the curation is truly superior. We don't even know if the people that designed the curation engine are still at the company."

    Image Source: Wikimedia Commons
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    Netflix Raised Its US, UK And European Prices

    Netflix Raised Its US, UK And European Prices

    In April, Netflix announced that higher prices were coming to North America.

    That price hike (from $7.99 to $8.99 per month for streaming video) was put into effect this week.

    Now the company has confirmed that higher prices will also hit the United Kingdom.

    New UK customers will soon pay £6.99 per month (up from £5.99), while European customers will pay €8.99 (up from €7.99).

    Existing customers will be grandfathered in to the old prices for at least two years.

    Image Source: Wikimedia Commons
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    Will Microsoft's Xbox Division Spinoff?

    Will Microsoft's Xbox Division Spinoff?

    There's been a lot of talk surrounding the possible spinoff of Microsoft's Xbox division.

    Bill Gates would support it, but that doesn't mean it will actually happen.

    "That's always been a more contentious area for investors in terms of what they should do," FBR Capital Markets analyst Daniel H. Ives told Benzinga. "Strategically, in our opinion, it would make sense for them to spin it off.

    "But given Nadella is a home-groomed Redmond guy, and I think he's done a lot of good things in terms of changing things strategically, I would not expect that that's something in the near-term. Maybe longer term that's something that could potentially be in the cards. But in the near term he has enough on his plate to deal with, rather than spinning off Xbox at this juncture."

    Image Source: Wikimedia Commons
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    Google, Others Still Fighting For Net Neutrality

    Google, Others Still Fighting For Net Neutrality

    Nearly 150 companies signed a letter that was sent to the FCC in support of net neutrality.

    Those companies -- which include Google, Microsoft, Facebook and Amazon -- oppose an FCC proposal that could ultimately allow broadband Internet companies to determine the download speed of different sites and services.

    Google and its co-signers think that broadband providers should not be allowed to discriminate against any particular company.

    Image Source: Wikimedia Commons
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    Surface Mini Expected On May 20

    Surface Mini Expected On May 20

    Tech analysts dug deep under the surface of Microsoft's event announcement this week.

    And what they found isn't all that surprising.

    "I think it's pretty telegraphed that [the event] is for the mini Surface," FBR Capital Markets analyst Daniel H. Ives told Benzinga.

    "I think it's all part of the [Satya] Nadella era to make Microsoft not just a transparent company, but a company that needs to go after trends."

    Image Source: Wikimedia Commons
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    Activision Plans To Spend $500 Million On Destiny

    Activision Plans To Spend $500 Million On Destiny

    How much is too much to spend on one game?

    In the '90s, game developers could spend $10 million or more on a triple-A game.

    Slowly but surely, game budgets soared above the $100 million mark.

    Now Activision is planning to set a new standard by spending $500 million to produce, promote and build the infrastructure for its newest franchise, Destiny.

    Image Source: Wikimedia Commons
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    Apple Could Lose Its Luster By 2020

    Apple Could Lose Its Luster By 2020

    It seems hard to believe, but Apple may not maintain its dominant status forever.

    Famed venture capitalist Fred Wilson predicted that Google, Facebook and some unknown company will dominate the tech space by 2020.

    This would push Apple into fourth place -- or lower, depending how the next six years pan out.

    Without any explanation for how Apple will fall, however, investors may want to take Wilson's words with a grain of salt.

    Image Source: Wikimedia Commons
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    Snapchat Settled With The FTC

    Snapchat Settled With The FTC

    Snapchat, the infamous app that Facebook reportedly tried to purchase for $3 billion, has settled with the FTC.

    Long story short, the Federal Trade Commission didn't like Snapchat's claim that photos would be deleted after their initial viewing time. There are several ways around that.

    Now Snapchat has agreed to eliminate that claim.

    College kids and aspiring politicians should take note: if they send a nasty image through the service, someone could save it and share it for all to see.

    Image Source: Wikimedia Commons
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