Spotify may want to hold off on going public just yet, as it now faces a 1.6 billion dollar lawsuit, BlackBerry is teaming up with Chinese search engine giant, Baidu, for driverless car software, and according to analysts there is a 40% chance Apple will acquire Netflix this year.

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From LinkedIn – Over the holidays it was revealed that Spotify was secretly preparing to go public with a stock market listing this year, but the music streaming company has to fix some other problems first. Wixen Music Publishing Inc is suing Spotify for 1.6 billion dollars for allegedly using thousands of songs without a license and compensation to the music publisher. This includes music from Tom Petty, Neil Young, Weezer, Stevie Nicks, and the Doors. According to Wixen, Spotify failed to get a direct or compulsory license from Wixen that would allow the streaming service to reproduce and distribute these songs. Wixen also claims that Spotify outsourced its work to a third party licensing and royalty services provider called the Harry Fox Agency that was ill-equipped to obtain all the necessary licenses. This isn’t the first time Spotify has dealt with this issue, as just last May the company agreed to a 43 million dollar settlement in a proposed class action lawsuit that alleged that the company had failed to pay royalties.

From Google – BlackBerry is teaming up with China’s largest search engine provider, Baidu, to develop autonomous vehicle software. The deal was signed yesterday morning, allowing Baidu to combine its Apollo autonomous open driving platform with BlackBerry’s QNX safety operating system. This allows the Apollo platform, which is a set of tools automakers can use to design autonomous vehicles, to pack more of a punch with BlackBerry’s safety software included, as well as the QNX’s entertainment software for smartphone integration. BlackBerry may no longer be smartphone royalty, but it’s been making waves in the software department. This deal is the fourth for QNX in the last year, which includes a partnership with Qualcomm, so don’t be surprised if you see any BlackBerry software in your vehicles in the next decade.

And from Linkedin once more – Analyst predictions about possible 2018 tech acquisitions are making waves at the start of this year due to the new corporate tax cuts coming in the U.S. Between the tax cuts, along with a one-time allowance for companies to repatriate cash stored overseas without a major tax hit, we may see a wild 2018 where tech companies have much more cash to spend. According to Citi analysts there is a 40% chance that Apple will acquire Netflix. Apple has notoriously been unable to get a TV or movie service off the ground, so what better way to turn it around than to buy the biggest one around. But that’s not all, Loup Venture analysts say that now that Amazon has acquired Whole Foods it’s just missing one more piece to fully take on Wal-Mart, predicting that the tech giant will acquire Target this year.

That’s what’s trending today. Hashtag Trending is produced by IT World Canada. Today’s episode is brought to you by SAS, the world leader in advanced analytics and Official Analytics Partner of the Canadian Olympic Team.



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