(Corrects age in fourth paragraph to 17 from 18)
By Gerry Shih
SAN FRANCISCO, April 23 Google Inc has
acquired Wavii, the Seattle-based startup behind a news
summarization app, for roughly $30 million in cash, a person
with knowledge of the matter said Tuesday.
Google's successful bid came after Apple Inc had
expressed interest in buying Wavii to incorporate the startup's
natural language technology into Siri, Apple's voice-activated
personal assistant feature, said the person, who declined to be
named because the deal has not been publicly announced.
Google and Wavii declined to comment.
Google's purchase comes several weeks after Yahoo Inc
paid a similar amount to acquire Summly, the news
reader and Wavii competitor founded by 17-year-old Nick
D'Aloisio in London.
The deals have taken out of play two small companies that
sought to enhance how consumer experience news - a significant
concern for Google and Yahoo, which both maintain highly
trafficked news sites.
In separate interviews last year, Wavii founder Adrian Aoun
and D'Aloisio acknowledged the competition between the two
D'Aloisio touted Summly's superior user interface, which
condenses articles into several easy-to-read paragraphs. Aoun
played up his app's technology, including a proprietary
algorithm that boiled down complex news stories into sentences
of just a few words.
Wavii's investors included Paypal co-founder Max Levchin,
former Facebook executive Dave Morin, and Fritz Lanman, a former
dealmaker at Microsoft Corp.
Most of the startup's employees are expected to relocate to
Google's headquarters in Mountain View, California.
News of the acquisition was first reported by Techcrunch.
(Reporting by Gerry Shih; Editing by Richard Chang)