Yahoo Continues Spending Spree With Xobni Acquisition

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.

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Xobni address book services to function as normal until next July

Yahoo has continued its recent spending spree by acquiring address book management application developer Xobni with a view to integrating the technology into its own email services.

No financial details have been disclosed, but it has been widely reported that Yahoo has paid $30-$40 million (£20-£26m) for the company (whose name is “inbox” spelt backwards), having purchased automated video editing app developer Qwiki for $50 million earlier this week.

Xobni has said the majority of its products will remain unaffected until 2 July 2014 but would accept no new purchases of premium products. However those who have already paid will get everything they have paid for, with Xobni Pro for Outlook subscribers receiving an extension until 2 July. Xobni’s products go back several years – TechWeek reviewed Xobni Plus in 2009.

Yahoo Xobni acquisition

Yahoo XobniSmartr Contacts for Android and Xobni for BlackBerry will no longer be available for download but Smartr inbox for Gmail and Smartr Contacts for iPhone will be available for another year.

“It’s a big day here at Xobni. We’ve been acquired by Yahoo,” said Xobni, announcing its acquisition. “At this moment, we’re unpacking our boxes from San Francisco and settling in to the new Sunnyvale space at Yahoo HQ.

“Before we talk more about that, a word to our current customers: Thank you. We know that Xobni products have woven their way deep into your daily life. Many of our product improvements have come as a result of your enthusiastic, detailed feedback.”

Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer has made a number of acquisitions as part of her efforts to revive the company since she assumed control last year. The most significant of these has been blogging platform Tumblr, which was bought for $1.1 billion (£725m) in May.

She has also overseen the closure of a number of services during her tenure, including the most recent cull earlier this week, which saw search engine Alta Vista and browser plug-in Yahoo Axis canned.

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