Kik Interactive sold its eponymous mobile messaging app and other select assets to MediaLab, a Los Angeles-based holding company whose brands include Whisper, for an undisclosed amount of cash.

Why it matters: The app has over 300 million registered users, but was in jeopardy of being shuttered due to legal costs related to Kik's ongoing dispute with the SEC over an initial coin offering for its Kin cryptocurrency. A source says that the deal will leave Kik with around 20 core developers to work on Kin.

Between the lines: The cap table won't change for Kik, which has raised around $120 million in VC funding from firms like Foundation Capital, RRE Ventures, Spark Capital, and Union Square Ventures. Kik also maintains around 30% of all Kin tokens.

The bottom line: Kik's future remains murky, as there is no indication that it and the SEC will resolve their differences out of court. The agency recently settled with Block.One over a similar set of issues, but also won a judicial order blocking Telegram from distributing around $1.7 billion of its own digital tokens. A hearing on the Telegram situation has been pushed back from this week into next February.

Go deeper

Felix Salmon, author of Capital
3 mins ago - Economy & Business

A white-collar crime crackdown

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

America has waited a decade for an aggressive government crackdown on white-collar crime. Now, just before the election, and in the middle of a bull market, it has arrived.

Why it matters: When times are good, investors become more trusting and more greedy. That makes them more likely to put their money into fraudulent or criminal enterprises.

  • After a decade-long bull market, there is no shortage of those frauds to prosecute.
31 mins ago - Technology

Lawyers crystal-ball the Google antitrust case

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

The Justice Department's antitrust suit against Google is a strong, straightforward monopoly case, competition lawyers and experts tell Axios. But that doesn't mean it'll be an easy journey for the government.

The big picture: Winning any antitrust case is a heavy lift. It's even more of a challenge to pull off victory in a future-looking case that seeks to make room for potential new competition to flourish.

The pandemic is getting worse again

Expand chart
Data: The COVID Tracking Project, state health departments; Note: Due to a database error, Missouri had a 3 day gap in reporting from Oct. 11-13; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

Every available piece of data proves it: The coronavirus pandemic is getting worse again, all across America.

The big picture: As the death toll ticks past 212,000, at a moment when containing the virus ought to be easier and more urgent than ever, we are instead giving it a bigger foothold to grow from.

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