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Yahoo acquires video chat startup OnTheAir

The acquisition 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. Yahoo sources said the acquisition was for the talent, and that the OnTheAir product will not be continued.

One OnTheAir 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.

"Hiring the most talented mobile product thinkers and engineers is a big priority for us moving forward," Adam Cahan, Yahoo's senior vice president of emerging products and technology, said in an emailed statement. 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 [email protected]


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