Skype buys video service Qik in $100 million deal

Skype said Thursday that it had acquired streaming video service Qik for an undisclosed amount, believed to be around $100 million USD. The VoIP provider says it plans to use Qik's technology to enhance its own video calling functionality.

Qik was founded in 2006 and is compatible with about 200 phones across several platforms including the iOS, Android, Blackberry, Symbian, and Windows Mobile platforms. The company has also struck several partnerships to have its applications come preloaded on select devices.

The concept is simple: the user shoots video with his or her camera phone, which is then uploaded to Qik's servers and delivered in near real time via the company's website. The user also has the option to share the video via social networking.

"Qik's deep engineering capabilities and strong mobile relationships will be an impressive complementary fit with Skype," Skype CEO Tony Bates said in a statement. The company did not disclose whether it planned to continue offering Qik's standalone application or fold its capabilities into Skype.

Bolstering Skype's video sharing capabilities seems like a solid move considering the increasing popularity of such applications including Apple's FaceTime and other video sharing apps like Knocking and UStream.

In related news, Skype also announced its own video capabilities had been improved. The application will now support videoconferencing for up to 10 parties for $8.99 per month, as well as announcing new partnerships with Sony and Vizio to build Skype into televisions and other consumer electronics.

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