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Yahoo! has announced its acquisition of OntheAir, a small video chat company. The purchase was made to bolster Yahoo’s position in the burgeoning video chat market. The financial terms of the acquisition were not divulged. OntheAir will become part of Yahoo!’s mobile group. Yahoo stated that its intention is not to offer OntheAir’s existing product, which permits users to host live video conversations. The service was made available to the public on March of 2012.
The purchase is the second acquisition taking place under the auspice of Yahoo’s new CEO, Marissa Meyer. She also spearheaded the purchase of a small mobile app developer called Stamped. The service allowed consumers to share feedback on social experiences such as sharing insight into their favorite restaurants and music venues on their mobile devices.
Meyers’ recent acquisitions reflect her strategy to re-position the ailing Yahoo brand as a player in the smart phone market. Her objective is to make Yahoo! more relevant as mobile devices transform the way that people interact with the internet and with each other. Her vision is to dedicate at least half of Yahoo!’s technical staff be repurposed to focus on the new mobile products.
Yahoo! is not alone in wishing to claim some real estate in the fast-growing mobile device market segment. Adobe Flash, Instagram, Facebook and many other icons of the IT industry have become keenly aware of the importance of staking out a claim in the smart phone arena. Smart phones are becoming so ubiquitous that it is negatively impact the sales of desk tops and lap tops as users continue to integrate all of their internet and communications activity into their mobile devices.