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US Media & Comm management moves through Jan. 18: Google, Microsoft, Sony

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US Media & Comm management moves through Jan. 18: Google, Microsoft, Sony

M&A Media

* Google Inc. agreed to buy Twitter Inc. unit Fabric as part of the tech giant's goal to further its mobile development for iOS, Android as well as for mobile web applications, according to a Jan. 18 blog post. The acquired mobile development company will join the Alphabet Inc. unit's Developer Product Group and will work with the Firebase team, Google's mobile development platform.

* NBCUniversal Media LLC decided to close Esquire Network (US), about a month after it was dropped by AT&T Inc.'s DIRECTV and U-verse, Variety reported Jan. 18. As a result of the Comcast Corp.-owned company's decision, 30 of the network's 50 employees will be let go.

* Microsoft Corp. acquired Swedish automatic 3D data optimization solutions developer Simplygon, according to a Jan. 17 company blog post. Following the acquisition, Simplygon CEO Matt Connors, along with founder and head of technology Ulrik Lindahl and co-founder Koshi Hamedi, are joining Microsoft.

* Baidu Inc. appointed former Microsoft executive Qi Lu as its president and COO, Bloomberg News reported Jan. 16. Lu will have oversight of all segments of Baidu's business.

* Sony Corp. said Jan. 14 that Michael Lynton, the company's corporate executive officer and CEO of Sony Entertainment, will resign from his current positions to become board chairman of Snap Inc. Sony President and CEO Kazuo Hirai will take on a bigger role at Sony Entertainment, adding the title of co-CEO and chairman. Lynton will act as co-CEO for six months until a replacement is found.

* Pandora Media Inc. is reducing its U.S. workforce by 7%, excluding Ticketfly Inc., according to a Jan. 12 SEC filing. The company is taking the step to focus and realign existing resources on execution and make further investments in product innovation to increase advertising revenue and subscription growth. The workforce reduction is expected to be completed by the end of the first quarter.

* ComScore Inc. appointed Carol DiBattiste as general counsel and chief privacy and people officer of the company, according to a Jan. 12 news release. DiBattiste will succeed Chris Lin.

* Kenneth Lowe, chairman, president and CEO of Scripps Networks Interactive Inc., will chair the supervisory board of Scripps unit TVN SA, according to a Jan. 12 news release. Also, Jim Samples, president of Scripps Networks International, was named president of TVN's management board.

M&A Communications

No communications industry moves covered by S&P Global Market Intelligence were announced or completed during the period.