Jump to navigation

Viber, one of Skype’s biggest VoIP rivals, has been bought by Japanese firm Rakuten in a multi–million pound deal. The online retailer has stumped up £540 million for the Cyprus–based messaging and VOIP service.

The move is being seen as an attempt to shore up Rakuten’s position in its home country, where it’s being squeezed financially by Amazon’s growing presence. Rakuten invested in Pinterest in 2012.

Viber has over 300 million global users, with internet calling over 3G and a new desktop IM platform for calling non–Viber users currently its key offerings. Skype, owned by Microsoft, remains the market leader when it comes to VoIP.

It’s as yet unclear what the takeover means for the future of Viber, which was only founded in 2010. However, it’s unlikely that end users will see any changes to the service, at least in the short term.

It could also mean greater competition in the space, as Skype and Google look to fight back against Rakuten’s move.



Join the conversation

comments powered by Disqus

Stay up to date

  • Google+ Follow uSwitchTech
  • Subscribe to our RSS feed

Latest Comments

  • Sophie Wainwright-Cowell 17 hours ago Three and O2 merger: we answer... are 02 customers going to get the same as what 3 network is offering such as using phone at no extra cost...
  • Mr Saltwater 1 day ago Sony Xperia Z3 hit by ‘static... Sony Xperia Z3 has a known problem with hairline cracks in the screen. The glass screens is pretty much...
  • AMDP43 1 day ago Three and O2 merger: we answer... I am an O2 customer and where I live only get GPRS not 3G but with O2 I should get free 4g when I am in an...

Search news