Why Facebook Is Spending Big Money for Oculus

Mar 26, 2014 8:10am

Morning Money Memo…

Is the Oculus Rift the next really big thing in virtual reality? Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is betting on it.

Weeks after agreeing to spend $19 billion to buy WhatsApp, Zuckerberg is continuing his spending ways. Facebook has agreed to buy Oculus for $2 billion.

Zuckerberg says the firm could become a very big computing and social platform. Oculus makes a virtual reality headset that’s getting a lot of buzz from video game developers. Popular Mechanics calls it “the most hotly anticipated gaming peripheral in years.”

Tens of thousands of Rift headsets are in circulation among developers who are working on applications for the hardware. They include gaming but also many other potential apps.

“Rift programmers are working on applications for surgeons, architects and educators,” reports Popular Mechanics. “A 360-degree virtual-reality movie called Zero Point is now in the editing process. And the military is far ahead in its VR experiments.”

Candy Crush Cash-In

Anyone who plays Candy Crush knows the highly popular mobile app can be addictive. King Digital Entertainment, the company that makes it, is planning to cash in on the stock market.

Its IPO has been priced at $22.50 a share. The offering has raised about $500 million for the company. King will begin trading today on the New York Stock Exchange with the symbol KING.

Target Is Critics’ Target

Target is the target of strong criticism in a Senate report. The retail chain missed many opportunities to prevent hackers from stealing massive amounts of data, say Senate staffers.

Their report, released on the eve of hearings, says Target ignored warnings of how hackers could break in.

“This analysis suggests that Target missed a number of opportunities along the kill chain to stop the attackers and prevent the massive data breach,” says the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee report.

Target’s CFO and federal regulators will appear at today’s hearing on protecting consumers’ credit card accounts and other personal information.

Bitcoin Tax

Virtual currencies like bitcoin will be taxed like property — not currency. So says the Internal Revenue Service. The IRS says bitcoin is not legal tender.

“Virtual currency is treated as property for U.S. federal tax purposes,” says a statement. “General tax principles that apply to property transactions apply to transactions using virtual currency.”

Rajat Gupta Conviction Upheld

A federal appeals court has upheld the insider trading conviction of a former Goldman Sachs and Procter & Gamble board member. The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that Rajat Gupta was fairly tried and convicted of conspiracy and securities fraud. Gupta was sentenced to two years in prison and fined $5 million. But he’s been free on $10 million bail.

AP oculus kab 140326 16x9 608 Why Facebook Is Spending Big Money for Oculus

(Jae C. Hong/AP Photo)

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