Last year, HSBC unloaded its credit card division on Capital One, and most of its retail bank branches in the Northeast to upstate New York’s First Niagara Bank. They’ve also been selling off their retail banking operations in other countries. Regular people just aren’t as profitable as we used to be. The thing is, while those branches and all of their customers have been sold, not all of their customers are making the change. George, who lives near a branch but had opened his HSBC accounts online for the sake of convenience, didn’t know this. He’s not associated with a branch, so his account stays with HSBC. He just won’t have a branch to go to. [More]
AT&T Wireless has made its next move in the race against Verizon for nationwide mobile phone domination: it’s acquiring fellow GSM carrier T-Mobile from Deutsche Telekom for a combination of cash and AT&T stock currently valued at $39 billion. DT will then have an 8% stake in AT&T, and AT&T will gain 33.7 million current T-Mobile USA customers. [More]
If you play games on the website Kongregate–its founders say 10 million players stop by every month–then congratulations, you’re about to become GameStop’s new BFF. There’s no word yet on how this will affect the Kongregate community; the site lets people play online games for free, and GameStop says that the its founders will continue to run things for now. If we start seeing offers to pre-order an upcoming online free game, I guess we’ll know the takeover is complete. [More]
Hear that sound? It’s the combined sobs of New Yorkers as the deal to turn all 258 Duane Reade drugstores in the metropolitan area, as well as two distribution centers and Duane Reade headquarters, into Walgreens has now been made official. [More]
Lala, the music streaming/backup service that’s also a reasonably priced mp3 store, has been purchased by Apple. Does this mean Apple may introduce some sort of streaming service in the future? On Lala, you can pay 10 cents per song to stream it as much as you want, or $.99-1.29 to own it outright. At any rate, if you buy from Lala now, you’re buying from Apple. [More]
As the Comcast/NBC mergepocalypse draws near, we wanted to remind readers of the ways that this is going to harm consumers (beyond the obvious things like 30 Rock being promised to come on between 6 and 10 pm and actually airing at 11:30). Join us for a sad look into the future. [More]
Hey, are you ready for Comcast to take more control over your entertainment? Then great news for you! Yesterday a rumor leaked that the cable giant is negotiating to buy 51% of NBC Universal, which includes the movie studio Universal, Universal theme parks, the NBC network, and shows like 30 Rock and SNL.
Amazon has purchased Zappos for $807 million. Reaction around Consumerist’s (virtual) newsroom: “Oh, no.” Then we started locking up our shoes in case our right to own them is revoked. No, no, we kid. Maybe.
The Swedish gaming company Global Gaming Factory X AB has purchased The Pirate Bay for $7.7 million, and plans to transform the embattled file sharing site into a legitimate peer-to-peer service. “We would like to introduce models which entail that content providers and copyright owners get paid for content that is downloaded via the site,” the buyers said in an ambiguous statement. The Pirate Bay’s current administrators did offer up one undeniable truth to comfort the site’s fans…
Surprise! Wells Fargo is buying Wachovia, even though Citibank said at the beginning of the week that it was going to. (Check out the full post here.) Unlike Citibank, Wells Fargo will absorb all parts of Wachovia, including its securities and retail brokerage biz, in a “$15.1 billion all-stock merger.” [DealBook] (Thanks to Stephen!)
Best Buy today agreed to purchase leading independent DSL provider Speakeasy, starting Q1 2008.