Discovery Communications Posts

Blucora Inc (BCOR) acquires HowStuffWorks from Discovery for $45 million

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Blucora Inc (NASDAQ:BCOR) has acquired HowStuffWorks from Discovery for $45 million as part of an all-cash deal. Discovery will see a huge loss on this deal because it bought HowStuffWorks for $250 million in 2007.
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Discovery Communications Leads $20 Million Investment In Grockit

Discovery Communications has led a $20 million round into Grockit.  Grockit is known for creating a service called Learnist.  Learnist helps students prepare for tests like the SATs and LSATs.  Discovery and Grockit will share technology with each other and work on opportunities to market, distribute, and promote each other’s services.

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Discovery Communications Acquires Revision3


Discovery Communications has acquired Revision3, a web video startup company founded by Kevin Rose, David Prager, and Jay Adelson. Revision3 produces their own shows like “Tekzilla” and “Epic Meal Time.” Kevin Rose and Alex Albrecht used to host a show on Revision3 called “Digg Nation.” Jay Adelson currently hosts a show on Revision3 called “Ask Jay.”
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Discovery Communications Files Lawsuit Against Amazon.com


Discovery Communications Inc. (NASDAQ:DISCA) has filed a lawsuit against Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN). Discovery Communications said that this is a procedural move and not a new lawsuit.
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Discovery Communications Files Patent For Their Own E-Book Reader

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With all of the patent litigation taking place in the business world today, it only makes sense to patent some of the products that you own.  Back in February, Discovery filed a patent for their digital book reader.

The abstract of the patent states:

“A viewer for displaying an electronic book and providing for electronic commerce. In conjunction with viewing an electronic book, a user can view information about products and services, view an on-line electronic catalog, and receive samples of products available for purchase. By entering a purchase request, the user can purchase products or services. In the case of a digital product, the user can download the purchased product directly into the viewer. The viewer also records statistics concerning purchase and information requests in order to recommend related products or services, or for directing particular types of advertisements to the user.”

The picture in the patent reveals that Discovery may have a partnership in place with Fodor’s and U.S. News & World Report. Discovery’s e-book reader will be competing with the Amazon.com Kindle and the Sony Reader. The Discovery e-book reader will have line in and out jacks, coaxial in and out jacks, and a high-res LCD screen.

Amazon.com Slaps Discovery With A Lawsuit

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Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) is suing Discovery Communications (NASDAQ:DISCA) for violating four e-commerce patents that relate to search and recommendation technology.  In March, Discovery Communications filed a lawsuit against Amazon.com over the Kindle.  Discovery filed a lawsuit against Amazon.com at the U.S. District Court in Delaware because of a patent around an encyption system used for e-books.

Now that the two companies are suing each other over patents, it will most likely be settled and perhaps a partnership will come out of it.  This is what happened between Microsoft and TomTom.

The problem with patents is that a lot of them are too general and they are overly abused.  BusinessInsider pointed out that Apple has a patent on multi-touch mobile UI technology which the Palm Pre has as a feature.  But Palm has a lot of patents and Apple may inadvertently be violating them.

Discovery Communications Files Lawsuit Against Amazon.com Over Kindle

The last time I wrote about Discovery Communications was in October 2007 when they announced that they were acquiring HowStuffWorks.com for $250 million.  A couple months before that, Discovery also bought out TreeHugger.com for about $10-$15 million.  It looks like Discovery wants to collect some money for themselves now because they have filed a lawsuit against Amazon.com over the Amazon.com Kindle.

The lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court in Delaware.  The lawsuit is in regards to a patent for an encyption system used for e-books.  Discovery is seeking triple damages and “continuing royalty” for the device.

Amazon.com’s Kindle has become very popular with the recent release of the second version with a text-to-speech feature.

“The Kindle and Kindle 2 are important and popular content delivery systems,” stated Joseph A. LaSala Jr., general counsel of Discovery. “We believe they infringe our intellectual property rights, and that we are entitled to fair compensation.”

Discovery filed for a patent in 1999 that was titled “electronic book security and copyright protection system.”  They were awarded the patent in 2007.

[via WSJ]

True Synergy: Discovery Channel Acquiring HowStuffWorks.com For $250 Million

Discovery Channel & HowStuffWorks Logos“We’re way behind in new media and digital,”stated David Zaslav, CEO of Discovery Communications Inc. “I don’t think we win just by building vertically.”

Discovery Communications Inc. announced today that they will acquire HowStuffWorks.com for $250 million. HowStuffWorks receives roughly 3.8 million unique U.S. visitors per month. HowStuffWorks also has 11 million users globally.

HowStuffWorks is known to be a website for answering through-provoking questions such as How Roller Coasters Work, How Submarines Work, How Your Brain Works, etc. HowStuffWorks claims that the acquisition by Discovery Communications for HowStuffWorks is a giant experiment to test whether its possible to combine the best things about TV and about the Web to create something that is a sum greater than its parts.

HowStuffWorks’ text content will be embedded into Discovery Channel’s 100,000 hours of documentaries and video footage. Discovery Communications has over 100 networks that reaches 1.5 billion viewers across the world interested in learning more about science.  There is a sample of media integration between Discovery and HowStuffWorks on the page about How Shark Attacks Work.

HowStuffWorks was founded by Marshall Brain, a professor at North Carolina State University in 1998. The Convex Group acquired HowStuffWorks in 2002. The Convex Group is an investment company founded buy Jeff Arnold, former CEO of WebMD. Carl Icahn also owns stake in HowStuffWorks. Carl Icahn is in the top 100 world’s richest people, net worthed at $8.7 billion, generated by his own hedge fund and ownership in various companies.

Information Source:
[1] Wall Street Journal: Discovery Plans to Buy Web Site