Facebook buys startup to strengthen push for carrier deals

|About: Facebook (FB)|By:, SA News Editor

Facebook (FB +0.2%) is buying Pryte, a Finnish startup that allows carriers to offer cheap, short-term mobile data packages covering popular individual apps. Terms are undisclosed.

Both Facebook proper and WhatsApp have been trying to strike deals with foreign carriers to provide subsidized access to their services; the latter has arguably made more progress than the former.

In April, WhatsApp launched a €10 ($14) prepaid SIM card in partnership with Germany's E-Plus that provided unlimited access to its services (no data charges).

A big chunk of the mobile messaging leader's base is in emerging markets where a piecemeal approach to mobile data services could go over well with cost-sensitive consumers.