| SAN FRANCISCO, June 3
SAN FRANCISCO, June 3 Facebook Inc is
acquiring Pryte, a Finnish company that aims to make it easier
for mobile phone users in under-developed parts of the world to
use wireless Internet apps.
Facebook did not disclose financial terms of the deal, which
spokeswoman Vanessa Chan said is expected to close later this
Pryte's service, which has not publicly launched yet, seeks
to make it easier for consumers without wireless data plans to
use online services by selling short-term passes that would
provide access to particular mobile apps, such as Facebook or
Facebook, the world's largest social network with 1.28
billion users, is primarily interested in the team behind Pryte,
led by Chief Executive Markku Makelainen, Chan said.
The one-year old, Helsinki-based company has valuable
experience and relationships working with wireless operators,
particularly in emerging markets, she said.
The company has fewer than 30 employees, though it's not
clear how many will join Facebook.
The deal marks Facebook's latest effort to advance its
mission of connecting people in under-developed parts of the
world to the Internet. Facebook has partnered with wireless
operators in certain countries to offer free access to its
social network and the company is building drones and satellites
that will beam Internet access to remote regions of the world.
Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg has said that
connecting the "next five billion people" to the Internet is one
of the company's top priorities going forward.
(Reporting by Alexei Oreskovic; Editing by Bernard Orr)