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Yahoo acquires OnTheAir video chat startup

updated 06:27 pm EST, Tue December 4, 2012

Five-person video chat company to join Yahoo's mobile group

Yahoo announced today that it had acquired OnTheAir, a five-person video chat startup company, in a deal meant to improve Yahoo's mobile communications capabilities. The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, but Yahoo did say that OnTheAir's team would be integrated into Yahoo's mobile group. The acquisition is seen by some observers as part of a continuing effort on the part of Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer to improve the company's ability to compete in the mobile sector.

OnTheAir allows anyone watching a live stream to video chat with the host in front of the audience. The platform makes possible something akin to a radio call-in show for the Internet era. Hosts are able to schedule specific times wherein viewers join in the discussion, as well as when tweets and other media might show up in the program.

OnTheAir's site confirms the acquisition today, expressing the group's gratitude to its investors and users of the service. The five-man group includes alumni from Meebo, Google, Apple, and Cooliris.

As Reuters reports, the deal is the second small, mobile-oriented acquisition by Yahoo since Mayer's tenure began. In October, the Internet giant acquired Stamped, a mobile startup allowing users to share information on restaurants and music from their smartphones. Mobile has been a priority for Mayer since she took over the company earlier this year, and she has said that at least half of the company's technical workforce will be working on mobile products in the future.

by MacNN Staff



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