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Facebook buys Firefox startup

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Facebook, the ubiquitous, in-your-face social [cough] networking website, has acquired Parakey, a startup run by the co-founders of Mozilla Firefox.

Financial terms of the deal, which was announced on 19 July, were not disclosed.

It's the first acquisition made by California-based Facebook since it launched in 2004.

Explaining the rationale behind partnering with Blake Ross and Joe Hewitt, Facebook CEO and founder Mark Zuckerberg said: "The work they've done with Firefox and Parakey and their approach to building products fit right in at Facebook."

Parakey was founded by the Firefox pair in early 2006 with the aim of building a platform that merged information on the web with the desktop.

Ross and Hewitt's increasingly popular open source, free web browser has, to date, been downloaded worldwide more than 300 million times.

The two men will work on the development of Facebook's platform, which currently has 31 million registered users, and the firm's website.

In related news, Zuckerberg will be in court this week defending himself against accusations that he stole the idea for Facebook from three former fellow students at Harvard . ®

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