Tue, Aug 23, 2011 - Page 10 News List

Skype to buy mobile messaging startup GroupMe

AFP, Washington

Skype, the Internet communications group set to be acquired by Microsoft Corp, announced plans on Sunday to buy the mobile messaging startup firm GroupMe for undisclosed terms.

GroupMe was founded last year at the Techcrunch Disrupt Hackathon and is headquartered in New York.

The deal, coupled with the -acquisition of mobile video provider Qik Inc earlier this year, “augments Skype’s role as an innovator in driving unique mobile user experiences,” the company said in a statement.

“Through the acquisition of GroupMe, Skype continues its drive to provide a global multi-modal and multi-platform communications experience,” it said. “The acquisition of GroupMe complements Skype’s leadership in voice and video -communications by providing best in class text-based communications and innovative features that enable users to connect, share locations and photos and make plans with their closest ties.”

Tony Bates, Skype’s chief executive, said GroupMe “has created an incredibly sticky group messaging experience that works across mobile devices and platforms, making this a perfect addition to the voice, video and text products in the Skype family.”

Founded in 2003 and based in Luxembourg, Skype is in the process of being acquired by US software giant Microsoft after being spun off by eBay Inc.

Microsoft said recently it hopes to close the deal for purchase of the Internet voice and video leader by October, once it gets the green light from European regulators.

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