Google buys voice and video codec company

Global IP Solutions develops products that can improve the quality of VoIP on mobile phones, PCs, and tablets

Google plans to acquire video and VoIP (Voice over IP) codec developer Global IP Solutions (GIPS) for approximately 421 million Norwegian kronor ($68.2 million) in cash, the company said on Tuesday.

GIPS develops codecs for encoding real-time video and voice signals into a digital format for transport over IP networks. The company has also developed a number of techniques that can combat the effects of delay, jitter, packet loss, background noise, and echo that IP networks can introduce.

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Google provided few details on how it plans to use GIPS' know-how and what will happen to its products, only saying that real-time video and audio communication over the Internet are growing in importance, and that it looks forward to working with the GIPS team.

Its portfolio of products includes software that can be integrated into voice and video applications for mobile phones, PCs, and tablets. In April, the company introduced VideoEngine for Android, which lets developers integrate video conferencing into applications running on Google's Android mobile operating system. Motorola has signed a deal to use the company's VoiceEngine software on Android phones.

GIPS' list of customers includes Yahoo, IBM, Motorola, and WebEx, according to its Web site.

One possible reason for Google's acquisition of GIPS could be to help with the development of support for built-in video in HTML5, which is gathering momentum, according to Ben Wood, analyst at CCS Insight.

Google will distribute details of its formal offer to GIPS shareholders on May 20, and has set a deadline of June 4 to obtain acceptance from the owners of at least 90 percent of the shares in GIPS.

GIPS isn't the only company with video know-how that Google has acquired recently. In August last year it announced the acquisition of On2 Technologies, a video compression specialist. The deal finally closed in February, with Google paying $124.6 million, about $18.6 million more than its initial offer.

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