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Yahoo acquires video chat startup OnTheAir

The acquisition likely aims at getting talented staff into Yahoo

Yahoo has acquired a video chat startup OnTheAir as the company focuses on mobile applications and services.

"When we first met with the team at Yahoo!, it was clear that everybody there is committed to making mobile products the backbone for the world's daily habits," the five-member OnTheAir team said in an announcement on their website.

The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, nor was it mentioned that the OnTheAir service will be offered by Yahoo, suggesting that the focus of the deal was more on acquiring top-quality staff.

One team member, Daniel Hopkins was working at Google on infrastructure that supports Gmail and Google+, while Mike Kerzhner and Erik Goldman worked previously on products at Apple, according to the OnTheAir website.

Yahoo acquired in October a recommendations app called Stamped. The acquisition was Yahoo's first after Marissa Mayer took charge as CEO of the company. The Stamped product - an iPhone app that lets people keep track off and recommend things like restaurants and books - will, however, be discontinued by the end of this year, and users have been advised to download their data from the website.

Yahoo and OnTheAir did not not immediately respond to requests for comment. Yahoo said in a Twitter message on Tuesday that it was "thrilled" that the team from OnTheAir is joining the mobile team at Yahoo.

A number of large Internet companies have often acquired startups more for their engineering staff than the products and services they offered, in a trend popularly known as "acqui-hire."

John Ribeiro covers outsourcing and general technology breaking news from India for The IDG News Service. Follow John on Twitter at @Johnribeiro. John's e-mail address is john_ribeiro@idg.com


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