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Skype Buys Startups To Expand Technology

By: Jason Lee Miller

Ebay-owned Skype acquired San Francisco-based Sonorit Holding AS and its US subsidiary Camino Networks, Inc. for about $27 million, or 700,000 shares of eBay stock.

Skype said the acquisition would aid the company in expanding its presence in online voice engineering by adding industry experts to its own team of technologists.

"We're excited about bringing the talented Camino Networks team to Skype," said Niklas Zennstrom, Skype CEO and co-founder. "They will add considerable expertise."

“I see this as a good move,” said Andy Abramson, CEO of Comunicano, Inc, “and a needed move in order for Skype and eBay both to be able to continue to compete with Yahoo, AOL and Microsoft, all of which have tons of in-house talent who understand high quality speech processing and Internet transmission of voice.”

eBay expects the acquisition will not affect its full-year 2006 earnings per diluted share, as issued in connection with its first quarter earnings release on January 18, 2006.

Sonorit, along with Camino, classifies itself as a start-company that focuses on high quality speech processing, coding, and transmission on Internet-based networks.

In December, Camino was slapped with a lawsuit by Global IP Sound (GIPS), a rival telephony company, alleging that former GIPS employees defected to Camino and revealed trade secrets.

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