Yahoo! buys online video chat startup OnTheAir

Yahoo! said Tuesday it had acquired a small startup specializing in broadcasting video chats or interviews to online audiences.

Financial terms of the deal to buy OnTheAir were not disclosed but Yahoo! said the five members of the young company would join the Internet veteran's mobile technology team.

"Hiring the most talented mobile product thinkers and engineers is a big priority for us moving forward," Yahoo! senior vice president of emerging products and technology Adam Cahan said in an email response to an AFP inquiry.

"We can't wait to work with (the OnTheAir team) to create the best possible mobile experience for our users."

San Francisco-based OnTheAir launched in March with an application that lets people host online talk shows with the twist that hosts can bring audience members "onstage" in the form of split-screen chats broadcast for all to see.

Yahoo! snapping up OnTheAir created the potential for the Sunnyvale, California firm to field a challenge to the popular Hangouts group video chat feature at Google's online social network or enhance mobile gadget services.

OnTheAir announced at its website that Yahoo! had bought the company.

"While we haven't yet attained our dream of building a widespread daily use product, we are just as committed to it," the OnTheAir team said in a message on its website.

"And this is why we're so excited to be joining Yahoo!...everybody there is committed to making mobile products the backbone for the world's daily habits."

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