Skype announced plans to acquire Qik, which provides mobile video software and services, at the Consumer Electronics Show.
VEGAS-Faced with the specter of rising competition
from Google and smaller VOIP services, Skype announced Jan. 6 that it had
entered into a definitive agreement to purchase Qik, which provides mobile video
software and services. Online reports indicate that Skype paid $100 million for
the smaller company, although neither officially disclosed the terms of the
recording, sharing and storing capabilities will add to Skype's technology
portfolio as it seeks to repel a threat from Google, which is moving
aggressively into the VOIP space with its Gmail-calling capabilities, and a
host of startups seeking their own piece of the telecommunications pie. Qik
counts 5 million users, and its software is available on more than 200 phones
from manufacturers such as Apple and Research In Motion.
Qik team has delivered exceptional video experiences for its mobile partners
and millions of end users across a range of devices," Tony Bates, CEO
of Skype, wrote in the Jan. 6 announcement. "Qik's deep engineering
capabilities and strong mobile relationships will be an impressive
complementary fit with Skype."
claims its software enables 25 percent of the world's international
long-distance voice-calling minutes. The company seems determined to carve off
its own share of the international attention focused on CES, with a second
announcement Jan. 6 that Verizon Wireless' 4G LTE Mobile
Broadband network will soon carry Skype mobile video.
video-calling capability will apparently be available on a range of Verizon
Wireless 4G smartphones by mid-2011. The carrier plans for its 4G LTE network,
launched in December 2010, to eventually encompass its existing 3G coverage
heard the demand for mobile video calling loud and clear from our users and are
delighted to meet this demand with a mobile video calling product that takes
advantage of Verizon Wireless' new network in the U.S.,"
Russ Shaw, general manager and vice president of Skype's Mobile Business Unit,
wrote in a Jan. 6 press release.
has been marketing its free or low-cost calling platform to larger
corporations, a plan that hit a minor speed bump in December when a
server outage left portions of its roughly 560 million users without PC-calling
. According to reports, the company is also trying to raise $1
billion for an initial public offering in 2011, and robust video calling
capabilities-boosted at least in part by Qik's assets-could help with that