Google announced it is acquiring internet start-up GrandCentral Communications for an undisclosed sum. The company's technology integrates all of a user's existing phone numbers and voice mailboxes into one account, which can be accessed from the web. "You get a single phone number that forwards to all of your phones, giving you one number for life," GrandCentral said on its website, announcing the deal. The company arose as a result of founder Craig Walker's frustration by having to constantly check multiple voicemail boxes. Users receive one phone number, which they can set to ring on all, some or none of their phones -- based on who's calling. On its FAQ, GrandCentral says: "Google acquired GrandCentral because its communications services fit into Google's mission to organize the world's information and to provide services and features that enhance the collaborative exchange of information between our users." Mike Arrington's TechCrunch believes the price-tag may have been in the $50 million range. Analysts note users of the service would to an extent give Google access to their phone records.
Sources: GoogleBlog, GrandCentral FAQ, Reuters, GigaOM, TechCrunch
Commentary: SkypePrime, SkypeFind: Is eBay's Skype Getting Desperate? • Telecom Meets Web 2.0 - Who Wins? • Google Acquires GrandCentral - Game on Skype! [ReadWriteWeb]
Stocks/ETFs to watch: Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG). Competitors: eBay Inc. (NASDAQ:EBAY) owner of Skype
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