Skype Snaps Up Qik

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Las Vegas - Skype announced today it has entered into an agreement to buy the mobile video company Qik.

Skype CEO Tony Bates said the acquisition fits with his company's plan to expand its mobile video business, which he called Skype's key focus for the future.

"Video is now the next frontier for the company," he said, adding that video comprises one-third of the company's 2010 push along with mobile Skype and having it used in the living room.

Bates would not reveal the cash value of the purchase.

Video is becoming a key function for Skype users with 40 percent of all calls now including video. Bates also noted the importance of mobile video for the company. Skype's iPhone app was downloaded 4 million times on Dec. 21 and 1 million video calls were made that day using the app, Bates said.

Skype, with the help of Qik's technology, will look to boost its group video calling product.

"I think group video is powerful, not just for consumers, but for enterprise," he said.

Skype group video can now handle 10 individuals and will cost $8.99 per month.

It is also part of the company's plan to push Skype into people's living rooms. Vizio and Sony Bravia TVs now have Skype installed along with Panasonic Blu-ray players, Bates said.

Skypes overall traffic doubled last year. In 2010 25 percent of all international phone calls are now done on Skype, up from 12 percent in 2009 and 8 percent in 2008. Over 520 million calling minutes are used on Skype daily.

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