1. ACQUISITIONS

    Facebook Signs $550M Patent Deal

    FILE - In this May, 26, 2010 file photo, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg talks about the social network site's new privacy settings in Palo Alto, Calif.  Dr. Ed Zuckerberg, father of Mark Zuckerberg, said in a radio interview Friday, Feb. 4, 2011, that Mark's early exposure to computers helped inspire his interest and expertise in technology.   (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez, File)

    Marcio Jose Sanchez / AP Photo

    Facebook is shelling out the big bucks these days in attempts to remain the world’s social-media leader. Exactly two weeks after acquiring Instagram for $1 billion, Mark Zuckerberg’s social behemoth signed a $550 million deal—its second-largest transaction ever—with Microsoft on Monday to buy hundreds of former AOL patents. The deal may give Facebook the upper hand in its legal battle for intellectual property with Yahoo. Microsoft, which owns roughly a 1.6 percent stake in Facebook, sold 650 of the 925 patents it bought from AOL with a license to use the patents Facebook is buying.  

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