Ina Fried

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Opera Buying Rival Mobile Browser Skyfire

Norwegian browser maker Opera Software said Friday that it is buying rival Skyfire Labs in a deal that could be worth upward of $150 million.

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Mountain View, Calif.-based Skyfire has software that allows carriers to deliver optimized video and other content to mobile devices. Skyfire said three large U.S. operators are using its technology, and 10 operators around the world are in trials.

“Opera and Skyfire are a natural fit,” Opera CEO Lars Boilesen said in a statement. “Both companies have evolved far beyond their browser roots. Skyfire adds capabilities to our portfolio around video, app optimization, smartphones and tablets, and strength in North America.”

The cash-and-stock deal calls for Skyfire to get an upfront $50 million payment, with performance-based clauses over three years that could eventually make the deal worth $155 million.

Once the deal closes, which is expected to happen by the middle of next month, Skyfire CEO Jeffrey Glueck will become an executive VP at Opera, overseeing its dealings with carriers while retaining his role as head of Skyfire, which will be a wholly owned subsidiary and continue to develop its Skyfire browser.


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