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February 14, 2014 10:58 am

Israeli App Viber Acquired by Japanese Internet Giant for $900 Million

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The logo for Israeli app Viber. The Israeli-founded voice and video communications app Viber has been purchased for $900 million by the Japanese electronics giant Rakuten, Bloomberg News reported.

Hiroshi Mikitani, the Japanese billionaire who controls Rakuten, said Viber will help provide a distribution channel for his company’s digital products. Viber has more than 300 million users of its instant messaging and free Internet phone services.

“Viber understands how people actually want to engage and have built the only service that truly delivers on all fronts,” Mikitani said in a statement. “This makes Viber the ideal total consumer engagement platform for Rakuten.”

The purchase of Viber is the third major takeover of an Israeli start-up company in the past year. In June 2013, Google acquired the social networking traffic app Waze for close to a billion dollars, while IBM acquired the cyber-security company Trusteer in August.

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