Opera buys Skyfire, wants its video and smartphone optimization expertise

@ 2013/02/15
In a sudden joining of former leaders in the mobile browser arena that have seen their fortunes turn, Opera announced tonight that it has acquired Skyfire for about $155 million in cash and stock. According to the press release, Opera believes one of the things the two can help each other with is its WebPass program that provides short-term mobile data, by further optimizing user's data requirements. Skyfire CEO Jeffrey Glueck will become an executive vice president at Opera and oversee joint offerings for the two, as well as remain CEO of Skyfire as an independent but wholly-owned subsidiary of Opera.

If you're still using Skyfire don't expect it to go away anytime soon, as the two indicate its browser will continue to be developed and supported. The company says three large US mobile operators are already customers for its Rocket Optimizer tech, meant to speed up all manner of data even as mobile connections have gone from dial-up to broadband speeds. Opera claims its advertising chops can help the Skyfire Horizon mobile browser and toolbar applications as well. The deal is expected to close before mid-March, and the two will be taking meetings at MWC 2013 later this month to show mobile operators how much better they are together.

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