Skype buys Qik

VoIP king Skype has announced is to buy up Qik, a small firm specialising in mobile video software and services. Qik's software enables users to capture and share video, clips giving a big hint as to what Skype might do with its newly acquired expertise.

Skype announced the deal at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

California-based Qik was founded in 2006 has now has 60 employees. Its video capture and sharing software works across mobile devices, the web, and desktop platforms. Videos can be shared in real time or stored and viewed later, allowing for video messaging, sharing and archiving. The Qik service is available on over 200 mobile phones across Android, iPhone, Symbian, Blackberry and Windows Mobile platforms, and comes pre-loaded on a wide variety of mobile handsets through partnerships with phone makers and networks. The firm's Smart Streaming technology optimises video transmission over wireless networks.

"The Qik team has delivered exceptional video experiences for its mobile partners and millions of end users across a range of devices,” said Skype CEO Tony Bates, in a statement. He added that some 40 per cent of Skype-to-Skype calls now video calls. "Qik’s deep engineering capabilities and strong mobile relationships will be an impressive complementary fit with Skype," he reckoned.

Skype won't say how much it paid to acquire the company but expects to close the deal by the end of the month.