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BT snares Silicon Valley phone firm

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BT is buying phone firm Ribbit for $105m, months before the Silicon Valley outfit's service is even scheduled to launch to consumers.

Ribbit makes a development platform which eases creating or adding voice applications - for instance it has added voice to salesforce.com's programs.

The company uses open APIs and has attracted a big community of developers. It hopes to release a consumer version of its product later this year.

Michael Boustridge, president of BT Americas, said: "The Ribbit platform makes it simpler, cheaper and faster to build communications functionality into applications, enabling developers to introduce new revenue-generating voice services in hours, rather than weeks."

The purchase will strengthen BT's software development programme. Ribbit will keep its existing management.

The company is only two years old and was owned by founders, staff and private equity firms. BT's buyout comes just eight months after investors pumped another $10m into the company.

BT press release. ®

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