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Microsoft to acquire Tellme Networks

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Redmond, Wash.—Microsoft Corp. Wednesday announced it will acquire Tellme Networks, a company that provides voice services including nationwide directory assistance, enterprise customer service and voice-enabled mobile search.

Financial details were not disclosed, but reports pegged the deal at $800 million.

“Speech is universal, simple and holds incredible promise as a key interface for computing,” said Microsoft Corp. CEO Steve Ballmer in a statement. “Tellme brings to Microsoft the talent, technology and proven experience in speech that will enable us to deliver a new wave of products and revolutionize human-computer interaction.”

Microsoft said potential areas of development resulting from the deal include hosted voice-enabled customer service solutions that complement Microsoft’s existing communications products as well as search services on mobile phones that integrate with Live Search for mobile offerings.

The deal is expected to be completed in the second quarter.

Tellme, which has more than 320 employees, will continue to operate from its Mountain View, Calif., offices as part of the Microsoft Business Division.

—Carol Krol

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