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EBay buys visual search tech firm; Gannett acquires Golfweek

S&P Global Market Intelligence provides a wrap-up of U.S. media and communications deal announcements and completions from Oct. 3 to Oct. 7.

* Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. will acquire U.S. artificial intelligence startup Viv Labs Inc., according to an Oct. 6 news release. Viv Labs' Viv platform enables developers to build voice recognition-based assistants and interfaces for apps and services. Samsung expects the acquisition to bolster its efforts to develop an AI-based open ecosystem across its product lineup. Viv Labs will remain an independent company under Samsung after deal completion, which is subject to customary closing conditions. However, Viv founders Dag Kittlaus, Adam Cheyer and Chris Brigham will work with Samsung's mobile communications division.

* Online auctioneer eBay Inc. agreed to buy Corrigon Ltd., a developer of visual search technologies. After the closing of the deal, the Corrigon team will become part of eBay's structured data organization and will be based in eBay's Development Center in Netanya, Israel, according to an Oct. 5 news release. Corrigon's technology helps in identifying objects within an image, matching both visual and textual elements to ensure that the image is recognized, correctly classified and best-matched to its corresponding product.

* Australian video-streaming service Quickflix Ltd. was sold to U.S.-based Karma Media Holdings for A$1.3 million, Rapid TV News reported Oct. 5. Under the terms of the deal, Quickflix, which went into administration in April, will continue to operate in the Australian market. Karma Media plans to retain 24 employees from the company and pay all entitlements owed to former workers. Unsecured creditors will receive 21.5 cents for every dollar. Los Angeles-based entrepreneur Erik Pence, the head of Karma Media, will become managing director of Quickflix.

* Gannett Co Inc. acquired golfing magazine Golfweek. Gannett said Oct. 5 that it will make Golfweek part of the company's USA Today Sports Media Group, with a goal to "accelerate Gannett's efforts to be a leader in the golf vertical by adding Golfweek to For The Win! Golf and USA Today Golf and the Network's more than 5 million unique monthly avid golf fans." Golfweek will continue to operate from its headquarters in Orlando, Fla., with offices in New York City, Los Angeles and McLean, Va. Golfweek has covered tournaments across the PGA Tour, LPGA, PGA of America and the United States Golf Association, as well as the 41st Ryder cup.

* MeetMe on Oct. 3 closed the acquisition of Skout Inc., a global mobile network for meeting new people. Related to the deal, MeetMe granted stock options for up to 355,000 of its common shares to 25 former Skout employees as an inducement to becoming nonexecutive employees of MeetMe at closing. Each option has a 10-year term, a three-year vesting period, subject to continued employment, and an exercise price of $6.12 per share, the closing price per share of MeetMe's common stock on the grant date.