eBay’s Skype IP telephony unit has acquired US speech-processing company Camino Networks for around $27m (£15.5m) in stock, to help develop future IP voice services.
The acquisition of the start-up covers both Camino Networks and its holding company Sonorit, and involves Ebay issuing 700,000 shares to finance the deal.
Skype said it wanted Camino for its engineering team, who would now work on new Skype technologies.
Skype’s move to buy a whole company to acquire voice talent is a contrast to the move made by Yahoo, which hired a large number of Nuance’s development team to build up its voice expertise.
Voice recognition specialist Nuance sued Yahoo for allegedly stealing its trade secrets, after the team jumped ship to work on Yahoo’s portal voice services. Yahoo denied the charge.
eBay bought Skype last year for up to $4bn. Skype offers free or cheap IP-based calls to 70m registered users, and is now moving into the business market.