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Opera boosts mobile video arsenal with Skyfire purchase

16 Feb 2013
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Opera has agreed to an acquisition deal with mobile video specialist Skyfire Labs.

The company said that the deal would include a $50m up-front buyout and additional payments over the course of three years which, if Skyfire meets performance criteria, will bring the total to as much as $155m.

Based out of Silicon Valley, Skyfire specialises in tools to optimise both data and video transfers to mobile devices. Additionally, the company develops the Skyfire Horizon mobile browser extension.

Opera said that it would be looking to add Skyfire's product lineup to its mobile services division. Additionally, the company is planning to pair up the Horizon team and their mobile products into its Web Pass offering. The service allows carriers to offer mobile users internet access through temporary passcodes.

"The market opportunity for video/media optimisation solutions geared towards operators and consumers is significant," said Opera chief executive and head of strategy Erik Harrell.

"After a thorough evaluation of this market, we strongly believe Skyfire is the clear leader for the future in this space."

The company said that following completion of the deal, which is set to be finalised by 15 March, it will be integrating Skyfire's staff into its own ranks, with former chief executive Jeffery Glueck becoming the executive vice president for Opera's operator business.

Opera itself has long been considered a potential candidate for a high-profile acquisition. Last year, with Facebook looking to increase its value, rumours surfaced that the company was among the candidates for a purchase by the sputtering social networking giant.

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Shaun Nichols

Shaun Nichols is the US correspondent for He has been with the company since 2006, originally joining as a news intern at the site's San Francisco offices.

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