Consider LinkedIn Corp. (NYSE: LNKD) the latest company to scoop up a news-reading application for smartphones.
The social networking service, which is geared toward professionals across all industries, has purchased Pulse, an application that aggregates news stories from more than 750 publishers, for a reported price tag of $90 million, 90 percent of which will be paid in the form of company stock. The remaining 10 percent will be paid in cash.
The transaction, announced jointly on the companies' respective websites on April 11, comes in the midst of several other smartphone deals in which the targets specialized in news distribution and consumption.
Most recently, Sunnyvale, Calif.-based Yahoo Inc. (Nasdaq: YHOO) paid $30 million for information gathering startup, Summly on March 25. In August 2011, Time Warner Inc. (NYSE:TWX) acquired Zite, an application for mobile devices that lets users personalize news streams, and integrated it with cable news channel CNN. Terms were not disclosed.
Flipboard, considered to be the most popular news-reading application, remains independent.
Meanwhile, LinkedIn is preparing to fold Pulse into its own news services, which have been developed quite a bit over the past year.
In a blog post, LinkedIn’s senior vice president of products and user experience, Deep Nishar, describes how Pulse, with its 30 million users, will assist LinkedIn in becoming “the definitive professional publishing platform – where all professionals come to consume content.”
LinkedIn launched a news aggregation hub in early 2011 followed by “LinkedIn Influencers,” which allows users to read original content from famous business leaders including William Morris Endeavor’s co-CEO Ari Emanuel and celebrity chef Marcus Samuelsson.
Pulse noted that its application will remain as is until integration with LinkedIn begins.