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Facebook to buy mobile app developer Snaptu

By Reuters
Sunday, March 20, 2011 14:47 EDT
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NEW YORK – Facebook has agreed to buy Snaptu, an application developer for mobile devices that are less sophisticated than smartphones, as the world’s largest Internet social network focuses on expanding its mobile services.

Facebook will pay up to $70 million for the London-based Snaptu, according to the Israeli newspapers Calcalist and The Marker.

Snaptu confirmed the deal, which is expected to close in a few weeks, on its web site on Sunday.

Facebook did not immediately respond to an email seeking a comment.

The site has been increasingly focusing on building up its mobile phone services for its 500-million-plus member online social network, and is in the market for more deals. Last week, Facebook said it had hired a member of Google Inc’s corporate development team to lead its fledgling merger and acquisition efforts.

Snaptu, founded in 2007, develops applications for feature phones, which have fewer capabilities than smartphones. The company helped develop a feature phone Facebook app earlier this year.

(Reporting by Maria Aspan; Editing by Marguerita Choy)

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