Google takes on Skype with Global IP buy

Google is buying Norwegian internet telephony company Global IP Solutions for $68m (£47.6m) to boost its online voice and video services.

Global IP Solutions makes the underlying processing software for voice and video calls over internet networks that will help boost Google Voice and other IP telephony based services.

The deal will enable Google to step up competition with traditional telecoms companies and IP telephony firm Skype. The deal will also mean that Google will own some of the technology that supports Cisco's WebEx system, IBM's Lotus Sametime, and the instant messaging systems.

"The Web is evolving quickly as a development platform, and real-time video and audio communication over the Internet are becoming important new tools for users," Rian Liebenberg, Google's Engineering Director, said in a statement.

The companies say the offer represents a 27.5 percent premium to Global IP's closing price on Friday. Shares of the Norwegian company are traded on the Oslo Stock Exchange.

The cash buyout offer is expected to expire on or about June 4. Global IP's board is recommending the offer.

The planned acquisition of Global IP Solutions is the latest in a string of strategic acquisitions for Google aimed at boosting its competitiveness.

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