Google acquires anti-spam company reCaptcha

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Mountain View, Calif.—Google has acquired reCaptcha, a company that helps protect Web sites from spam and fraud by assuring a response is not generated by a computer.

ReCaptcha's technology presents computer users with the familiar swooping images of words that must be typed in to verify legitimate online requests and registrations. Since reCaptcha scans these words from archival newspapers and old books, Google said it hopes to use the technology to improve its own text scanning projects, such as Google Books, to create searchable archives.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Google may also be interested in acquiring Brightcove Inc., whose technology manages corporate video content for such companies as Condé Nast, AOL and The New York Times, according to a San Francisco-based freelance technology writer.

Mark Glaser, editor of PBS' Mediashift Web site, reported on the possible deal in a Twitter post. He attributed the information to a “source with knowledge.”

Glaser said the buyout would be worth $500 million to $700 million and would give Google an inroad into paid video service with traditional media companies.

Neither Google nor Brightcove would comment on the report.

Frost & Sullivan analyst Dan Rayburn reported on his Business of Video blog Wednesday that Glaser's report is wrong.

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