Plus, Amazon posted its 11th straight profitable quarter, Shari Redstone changed her mind again about that CBS/Viacom merger, and Monopoly for cheaters.
HQ Trivia, the trivia app with a huge audience and a controversial founder, has raised a funding round that values the company north of $100 million. Founders Fund, the venture firm founded by billionaire Peter Thiel, is expected to lead the round of $15 million. The round is notable because several investors were scared off by the reputation of co-founder Colin Kroll, who had been fired by Twitter after it acquired his Vine startup. [Kurt Wagner, Theodore Schleifer / Recode]
Apple posted its biggest quarter ever yesterday — revenue passed $88 billion in the first fiscal quarter, up 13 percent year over year, with $20 billion in profit. But it still disappointed analysts beacuse of mediocre sales of the iPhone X. [Dan Frommer / Recode]
Amazon is no longer a company that consistently loses money. The e-commerce giant has posted a profit for 11 straight quarters — including a record $1.9 billion during the holidays. The company also reported that its “other” revenue — which mostly means advertising, plus its co-branded credit card agreements — increased to $1.7 billion in the fourth quarter. That’s 60 percent growth year over year. Amazon has baked AI into nearly all of its products and services — here’s how deep learning came to power Alexa, Amazon Web Services and other divisions. [Jason Del Rey / Recode]
Alphabet disclosed the revenue of its Google Cloud business for the first time yesterday, during a conference call about the Google parent company’s otherwise unremarkable Q4 earnings. Google CEO Sundar Pichai said the cloud is “already a billion-dollar-per-quarter business”; its rival, market-leading public cloud Amazon Web Services, generates roughly five times more revenue per quarter. [Jordan Novet / CNBC]
CBS and Viacom plan to merge (again). Shari Redstone, who controls both media companies, considered a possible deal in 2016 but changed her mind, believing that Viacom could turn around on its own. But a series of proposed mergers, kicked off by AT&T’s planned acquisition of Time Warner, is forcing comparably smaller media companies to look for larger homes. Take a look at this chart of the current media landscape, which explains why Redstone now supports a merger. [Rani Molla and Peter Kafka / Recode]
BuzzFeed’s news unit is looking for financial help, and has talked to a rep for billionaire Laurene Jobs Powell. But a BuzzFeed board member denied that the company wants to spin its news group off. Big picture: BuzzFeed News generates lots of attention, but little revenue. That used to be okay, but it’s harder for BuzzFeed to justify that in 2018. [Peter Kafka / Recode]
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