Google Pays £19.4m For News Summary App Wavii

Steve McCaskill is editor of TechWeekEurope and ChannelBiz. He joined as a reporter in 2011 and covers all areas of IT, with a particular interest in telecommunications, mobile and networking, along with sports technology.

Follow on: Google +

Google reacts to Yahoo Summly acquisition by buying Wavii

Google has paid $30 million (£19.4m) in cash to acquire news summary application Wavii, according to Reuters.

The search giant’s takeover comes a month after Yahoo bought Summly, a rival news aggregator founded by British teenager Nick D’Aloisio, for what is believed to be a similar amount.

Wavii works by condensing complex news stories into a few words and is available as an iOS application. Apple had been another rumoured suitor for Wavii, although its interest is in the company’s natural language technology, which it wanted to include in its Siri voice recognition software.

Wavii gravy train

WaviiThe Seattle-based startup’s investors include PayPal co-founder Max Levchin and former Facebook executive Dave Morin, while most of its staff are expected to relocate to Google’s Mountain View headquarters once the takeover has been publicly announced.

Both D’Aloisio and Wavii founder Adrian Aoun have discussed the competition between their two companies and it has been suggested that Yahoo and Google bought the two companies to stop the stratups taking traffic from the giants, as much as it is about the big boys competing with each other.

Earlier this week, Google chairman Eric Schmidt defended his company’s tax arrangements in the UK after MPs labelled its practices “immoral.” Google pays just £6 million in corporation tax despite generating revenues of £395 million in this country. This is achieved by operating its UK business as an agent for its Irish operations so that it is only liable for UK tax on a ten percent commission on its revenue.

Tax your Google expertise with our quiz!