Google Buys Global IP Solutions for $68M, Eying Voice Communications
Search giant Google has made an offer to acquire Global IP Solutions, a Norwegian firm specializing in technology supporting real-time audio and video transmissions over the Internet.
Global IP Solutions' (GIPS) board approved the $68.2 million cash offer, a 27.5 percent premium over the company's value at the close of the last full trading day on the Oslo exchange.
For Google (NASDAQ: GOOG), the acquisition will deliver technology that GIPS has licensed to many prominent U.S. tech companies, including several companies Google competes with, to support VoIP and video-conferencing applications.
"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," Google Engineering Director Rian Liebenberg said in a statement.
GIPS offers products suites such as the VoiceEngine and VideoEngine lines, which aim to improve the quality of IP-based communications by reducing network blights like latency, jitter and packet loss.
GIPS technology seems a likely complement to Google's rapidly expanding Android platform. Last month, for instance, GIPS rolled out a version of its VideoEngine product for Android developers, billing it as the first to offer video-conferencing capabilities for the open source developer platform.
Two weeks later, GIPS made a similar announcement about new video-conferencing technology for Apple's (NASDAQ: AAPL) iPad developer platform. The company began offering video-conferencing tools for the iPhone platform in February.
GIPS also supplies technology to Google rivals directly through direct licensing deals. GIPS has supplied the voice technology in Yahoo Messenger since 2006, and last year expanded that partnership to include video calling.
In 2008, GIPS struck a similar video chat deal with Baidu, the leading search engine in China.
Google also offers its own VoIP service, dubbed Talk, as well as Voice, its omnibus telephony service that routes calls to a single number, offers voicemail transcriptions and other services. Last November, Google bought the VoIP startup Gizmo5 to fold into its Voice product.
Since the second half of 2009, when the economy began to stabilize and Google saw its advertising partners start to increase spending, the company has been on a shopping spree. Google's latest buy continues a streak of acquisitions that has seen the search giant snap up several small firms in recent months as it has looked to build out its technology in areas such as mobile, video and search.
The largest of those buys, the $750 million purchase of the mobile ad network AdMob, remains under scrutiny by antitrust authorities at the Federal Trade Commission.
GIPS will next have to secure the approval of 90 percent of its shareholders to complete the sale to Google. The companies do not expect the deal will require approval from competition regulators in any of the relevant markets.
Google tendered the offer through its wholly owned subsidiary, Google Acquisition Holdings.