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Vodafone buys mobile social network

19 мая 2008

Vodafone has made its first mobile internet acquisition, paying €31.5m ($49m, £25m) in cash for Zyb, a private Dutch company offering social networking and contacts management technology.

Zyb allows mobile phone users to back up their contacts to a web portal, as well as providing instant messaging services and calendar-sharing with friends online. The service has yet to generate revenues, but could become a platform for mobile advertising.

“We are reinventing the address book,” said Tommy Ahlers, Zyb’s chief executive. “It’s the most used application on any mobile phone but it hasn’t changed in 10 years.”

Zyb has about 250,000 users of its service round the world.

The deal marks the first such acquisition for Pieter Knook, head of Vodafone’s newly created Internet Services division – part of its “total communications” strategy to provide services beyond the mobile phone. Mr Knook was Microsoft’s senior vice-president for mobile before his appointment at Vodafone earlier this year.

The deal follows the acquisition this week by Comcast, a
US cable operator, of Plaxo, a web-based company seeking to build a social network round its users’ address books.

Источник: Financial Times

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