Yahoo! Adds to E-mail, RSS Assets

Yahoo has acquired privately held Stata Labs, developer of the searchable email client/RSS reader Bloomba and the SAproxy Pro spam filter. Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.

The company plans to cease selling the products separately, according to the Stata Labs Web site, but it will support existing customers for a year. Yahoo hasn’t said what it will do with the technology, but did say it had no plans, as of yet, to integrate the products across Yahoo Mail.

“While we will evaluate opportunities to leverage Stata Labs across Yahoo, we have no immediate plans to integrate Stata Labs within Yahoo Mail,” said Mary Osako, a spokesperson for Yahoo

The company may have made the move to match its technology offerings with Google’s. The search player got into the email space when it began beta testing its ad-supported Gmail product in April. In another email related search move, Google last week announced a desktop search product that lets users search email downloaded in Microsoft Outlook, along with other files. Microsoft, for its part, acquired Lookout, an Outlook plug-in that lets people search their email.

The acquisition was also motivated by personnel matters. The company said it was pleased to be bringing aboard “exceptional technological expertise,” though it wouldn’t say how many employees Stata Labs had, or how many would be moving to Yahoo

“They have a team of outstanding enginering talent, which we believe will complement Yahoo’s industry-leading team of experts,” said Osako. Stata Labs founder and CTO, Raymie Stata, who was part of the original AltaVista development team, will be joining Yahoo

Before Gmail, Yahoo and Microsoft’s Hotmail were the top free email services. Once Gmail came out, with its enhanced functionality and 1 gigabyte of storage, Yahoo and MSN each made some defensive moves to keep their customers, increasing storage space and refreshing their user interfaces.

Yahoo’s latest acquisition follows its July purchase of Web-based email/RSS client Oddpost. The company says it will integrate that technology into a new version of Yahoo Mail.

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