Yahoo Buys OnTheAir To Compete Better With Google

By Alexandra Burlacu | Dec 05, 2012 09:33 AM EST

Share This Story

  • Print
  • Email

Yahoo has just snapped up San Francisco-based startup OnTheAir, marking its second acquisition since Marissa Mayer took over as CEO back in July.

OnTheAir is a small startup comprising of just five employees, but it may help bolster Yahoo's relevance in an increasingly competitive market. The new acquisition puts Yahoo in a better position to compete with Google+ Hangouts and other similar services.

Follow us

"When we first met with the team at Yahoo, it was clear that everybody there is committed to making mobile products the backbone for the world's daily habits," OnTheAir wrote on its Web site, announcing the new deal.

Mayer has been struggling to change the fortunes of the ailing Yahoo, and believes the rapidly growing mobile market space is integral to the company's future growth.

"Our top priority is a focused, coherent mobile strategy," Mayer explained during a quarterly earnings conference call, noting that half of the company's technical staff will one day be working on mobile.

The five-person startup called OnTheAir launched back in March, allowing users to host video conversations in a "television talk show" setting. In this scenario, a host can call members of a group "on stage," where they can be watched by anyone with a video stream. In other words, it's a sort of Google+ Hangouts experience with a talk show format.

Neither Yahoo nor OnTheAir revealed the financial terms of the acquisition, and it remains unclear at this point whether Yahoo would discontinue the service. Back in October, when Yahoo acquired recommendations engine Stamped, the deal seemed to be aimed more at recruiting engineering talent than technology, as the company discontinued the service after the acquisition.  

The move to purchase Stamped was widely referred to as an "acqu-hire," and the OnTheAir acquisition seems to be geared towards the same endeavors, i.e. adding more engineering talent. The startup's small team includes one former Google employee, as well as former employees of Apple and instant messaging service Meebo.

The second acquisition of a mobile startup may suggest that Yahoo has a wider plan to poach talent capable of developing branded mobile products, in a bid to better compete with rivals and attract more consumers in the long run.

Get the Most Popular Mobile&Apps Stories in a Weekly Newsletter

© 2014 Mobile & Apps All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.

Featured Video : Intel Pocket Avatars

Join Our Conversation

Smartphones
Lenovo Nexus 6 concept integrating Motorola techMotorola Google Nexus 6 claims bolstered, to launch once Moto is fully under Lenovo
Cortana vs. Siri: Microsoft takes on Apple’s popular assistant in latest ad (VIDEO)
Tizen-powered Samsung Z pushed back again – Will the OS make it in the end?
HTC One M8 with Windows Phone 8.1 instead of Android to launch later this year?
Tablet / Laptop / PC
Dell Venue 7 and Venue 8Dell unveils Venue 7 and Venue 8 Android 4.3 Jelly Bean tablets
Retina iPad Mini facing delays, may not launch until early next year
Refurbished 128GB iPad with Retina Display now available on the Apple Online Store
Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 – 2014 Edition: Pricing and availability now official
Gadgets
Amazon LogoAmazon reportedly to launch ‘Firetube’ set-top box before 2013 holidays
Samsung Galaxy Note 3 and Galaxy Gear India launch: Pricing and availability
Samsung Galaxy Gear Android smartwatch now up for pre-order in Canada
Samsung Galaxy Gear 2 reportedly in the works already, may debut at CES or MWC 2014
OS / Software
HTC LogoHTC reportedly considering Android/Windows Phone dual-booting smartphone as Microsoft pushes for deeper Windows mobile integration
iOS 7 Chrome Incognito mode leaks private searches due to bug
Sprint HTC One Android 4.3 Jelly Bean already rolling out, AT&T, T-Mobile & Verizon to follow
Microsoft Windows 8.1 now available for pre-order
Internet / Social Media
Google DowntimeGoogle blacks out for two minutes, causes 40 percent drop in world’s Internet traffic
Xbox Music web player is live and ready for Xbox Music Pass subscribers
Facebook Android app collected phone numbers even if users never logged in
Firefox 22 brings support for web video calls, 3D gaming, and Unreal Engine 3
What's App
PayPal iOS appPayPal for iOS update brings loyalty card support, other features and enhancements
Facebook Slingshot now official to challenge Snapchat – What makes it stand out?
Pinterest update brings Guided Search to desktop users (VIDEO)
SwiftKey goes free on Google Play, boasts great new features & improvements
Copyright © 2014 Mobile & Apps All rights reserved. mobilenapps
Real Time Analytics