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Social network Xing buys Turkey's cember.net

FRANKFURT, Jan 23 (Reuters) - German online business networking company Xing OBCGn.DE has bought Turkey's cember.net to strengthen its leadership in the Turkish-speaking market, it said in a statement late on Tuesday.

Fast-growing Xing, a competitor to U.S.-based LinkedIn, said it would pay 4.4 million euros ($6.4 million) in stages for cember.net.

“Xing is driving forward its course of consolidation in Europe,” it said in a statement, after it bought Spanish rivals Neurona and eConozco in the last year.

The Hamburg-based company, an early social networking company to go public in 2006, had 4.25 million members at end-September and offers services in 16 languages.

It distinguishes itself from bigger, less business-oriented competitors such as Facebook by its strict privacy policy and by prominently displaying which members are indirectly connected to you.

Xing has a free basic service and charges 5.95 euros ($8.63) a month for premium services such as advanced searches and more direct ways of contacting other members.

It had sales of 13.13 million euros in the first nine months of 2007, more than double what it had a year earlier. (Reporting by Georgina Prodhan; editing by Carol Bishopric)

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