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January 06, 2011

Skype Acquiring Qik

Skype is expected to acquire Qik (News - Alert), a fast-growing provider of mobile video software and services, according to an announcement made at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

The transaction is expected to close this month. Terms will remain private.

Skype (News - Alert) will pay $150 million for Qik, including an earnout, according to a report from BusinessInsider. Other reports say it will be for $100 million.

Based on information from the Qik blog, TMCnet said, Qik began in 2010 with about 600,000 users. By December 2010 it had 5 million users, according to BusinessInsider. The huge increase was largely a result of partnerships with Sprint, T-Mobile (News - Alert), Nokia and Samsung.

The two companies have complementary products and services. Qik lets users stream video from smartphones, according to media reports.

“The Qik team has delivered exceptional video experiences for its mobile partners and millions of end users across a range of devices,” Tony Bates (News - Alert), Skype’s CEO, said in a company statement. "Skype’s software enables an estimated 25 percent of the world’s international long distance voice calling minutes, and approximately 40 percent of those Skype-to-Skype calls are happening over video. Qik’s deep engineering capabilities and strong mobile relationships will be an impressive complementary fit with Skype.”

TMCnet further reported that Bates blogged, “the acquisition of Qik will help to accelerate our leadership in video by adding recording, sharing and storing capabilities to our product portfolio.”

"Qik has worked very hard to solve complex problems that allow millions of people every day to take advantage of sharing their lives with those people who are most important to them,” added Vijay Tella, CEO of Qik. “Joining Skype allows Qik’s team to unite with Skype’s talented team to develop new and innovative products for our customers and partners.”

According to a company press release, Skype said that Qik has 60 employees, and is headquartered in Redwood City, Calif. and has an office in Moscow, Russia.

Qik was founded in 2006.

In a related matter, Bates has apologized for the recent Skype outage that affected its millions of customers, according to TMCnet.

Ed Silverstein is a TMCnet contributor. To read more of his articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Patrick Barnard

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