iHeartMedia Invests in Unified Social

Unified Social has raised $30 million in a new round of funding led by iHeartMedia, formerly Clear Channel, the companies announced Thursday. Other investors in the latest round of funding include Advance Publications, Upfront Ventures, and the Foundry Group. Unified also tapped a $10 million line of credit at Silicon Valley Bank. The company raised $14 million in a previous round of funding in 2011.

Liberty Interactive to buy online retailer Zulily in $2.4 billion deal

Media mogul John Malone’s Liberty Interactive on Monday said it would acquire Zulily in a cash-and-stock deal valued at $2.4 billion to tap into the online retailer’s younger clientele and its strong mobile presence.

Zulily, a once red-hot website that hosts “flash” sales of clothing primarily for mothers and children, counts Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba as one of its shareholders.

Pearson to sell FT Group to Nikkei Inc.

Pearson is today announcing that it has agreed the sale of FT Group to Nikkei Inc. for a gross consideration of £844 million, payable in cash.

Financial Times is one of the world’s leading news organisations, recognised for its authority, integrity and accuracy. It includes the FT newspaper, FT.com, How to Spend It, FT Labs, FTChinese, the Confidentials and Financial Publishing (including The Banker, Investors Chronicle, MandateWire, Money-Media, Medley Global Advisors and more)

Pearson to Explore Sale of Financial Times

Pearson Plc is exploring a sale of the Financial Times after receiving interest from potential buyers, according to people familiar with the matter.

London-based Pearson is sounding out possible bidders for the salmon-colored newspaper, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the deliberations are confidential. A sale may value the business at as much as 1 billion pounds ($1.6 billion), two of the people said.

Dish Talks for T-Mobile Said to Stall on Structure, Valuation

The slow-moving Dish Network Corp. talks to acquire T-Mobile US Inc. from Deutsche Telekom AG have stalled over concerns related to valuation and structure, people with knowledge of the matter said.

The lack of momentum calls into question whether any transaction will get done this year or at all, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the information is private. The two companies will soon turn their attention to a spectrum auction in 2016 in which they’d either be bidding on wireless airwaves as one company or competing.

Microsoft is getting out of the display ad business

Microsoft is shutting down most of its display advertising business and handing over parts of it to AOL and AppNexus, the company said in a blog post this afternoon.

Up to 1,200 employees could leave Microsoft as part of the change, according to Bloomberg's Dina Bass reports, who reported the news earlier.

Verizon completes $4.4B acquisition of AOL

U.S. telecom giant Verizon has announced the completion of its AOL acquisition, as expected, for $50.00 per share. This effectively means that AOL shares are no longer being traded on the New York Stock Exchange, and AOL is officially a Verizon subsidiary.

News of the proposed acquisition first broke last month, though rumors of the deal had been circulating for some months. While Verizon is better known for its Internet and telephone services, the company is evidently keen to push on with plans to become a content-focused media company, and monetize through videos and ads — which is AOL’s forte.

Martha Stewart Living to sell itself in $353M deal

Homemaking maven Martha Stewart's media and merchandising firm Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia Inc is selling itself in a $353 million cash-and-stock deal to Sequential Brands Group Inc.

New York-based Sequential Brands, which buys and licenses out brands, owns Justin Timberlake's William Rast clothing brand among others. It bought a majority stake in the Jessica Simpson brand in April.

Rupert Murdoch preparing to step down as 21st Century Fox chief

Rupert Murdoch is preparing to step down as chief executive of his global media and entertainment empire 21st Century Fox and hand the role over to his youngest son James.

Murdoch is expected to continue as executive chairman of the company with his eldest son Lachlan Murdoch becoming an executive co-chairman.

Richemont Invites LVMH to Join Site to Compete With Amazon

PARIS, France — Richemont chairman Johann Rupert invited LVMH andKering to join in an attempt to build a luxury retail website that can compete with the world’s largest online vendors.

The South African billionaire, who controls the Swiss company and its 20 brands, said he’d spoken to LVMH chairman Bernard Arnault and Kering about them joining the Yoox Net-a-Porter platform. Luxury-goods makers need more critical mass in e-commerce to survive against the competition, he said.

GameStop Agrees to Acquire Geeknet, Trumping Hot Topic

GameStop Corp. agreed to acquire Geeknet Inc. in a deal valued at $140 million, trumping Geeknet’s previous agreement with teen-focused retailer Hot Topic Inc.

GameStop will pay $20 a share for Geeknet, as the videogame retailer seeks to expand its presence in the game-related merchandise and collectibles category.

Time Inc. Buys FanSided, Talks Future Deals

Time Inc. said Tuesday that it acquired FanSided, a sports entertainment and lifestyle network of more than 300 Web sites. The deal will help the company’s Sports Illustrated franchise reach a broader audience and deepen its coverage of the local sports market.

Time Inc. estimated that FanSided collectively attracts 15 million unique visitors and 50 million page views a month. FanSided, which was founded in 2009, also has a mobile app and personalized newsletters.

China’s Internet giant Tencent eyes global game market

China’s Internet giant Tencent is expanding its influence in the global game industry by swallowing foreign game firms agressively.

This week, Tencent bought a 20 percent stake of the U.S. firm Pocket Gems, paying $60 million, according to the latest report by Wall Street Journal. Pocket Gems is a mobile game startup supported by the U.S. venture capital Sequoia Capital and rolled out its first game “War Dragons” last month. This is the second purchase of the U.S. game firms by the Chinese Internet giant this year. Last month, tt took a 14.6 percent stake of the U.S. game producer Glu Mobile for $126 million.

Net-a-Porter's New Social Shopping App Might Be Fashion's Smartest Data Play

On Wednesday, Net-a-Porter is launching the Net Set, an app for iPhone, iPad and Apple Watch that unites the retailer’s enviable e-commerce capabilities with a social function that encourages more spending — and, crucially, allows the luxury giant to collect data on its burgeoning Millennial customer base.

Online Retailer Farfetch Buys London’s Browns Fashion Boutique

Online retailer Farfetch has purchased Browns, an iconic London fashion boutique known for introducing new fashion labels and pioneering bridal and menswear since the 1960s.

Farfetch plans to operate the store as an incubator for retail technology, in a project the company’s founder and chief executive Jose Neves calls the “Store of the Future.” The idea is to test new digital concepts including ways to manage inventory and evaluate shoppers’ desires, all while continuing to sell to Browns’ clients in fashion and luxury.

Verizon to Acquire AOL

*Deal Creates Unique and Scaled Digital Media Platforms for Consumers, Advertisers and Partners*

Taking another significant step in building digital and video platforms to drive future growth, Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE, Nasdaq: VZ ) today announced the signing of an agreement to purchase AOL Inc. (NYSE: AOL) for $50 per share -- an estimated total value of approximately $4.4 billion.

Net-a-Porter Creates Social Network for Mobile Luxury Shopping

Net-a-Porter, the online fashion retailer merging with Yoox SpA, unveiled what it says is the first social network for consumers to flaunt their style and buy luxury goods via mobile devices.

Dubbed The Net Set, the app allows consumers to check out the latest trends, recommend products to friends, upload images and shop for more than 350 of the most-sought-after fashion collections, Net-a-Porter said Wednesday in a statement.