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VoIP Systems

Is BT Buying Ribbit?

7:00 AM -- Silicon Valley speculation suggests that British incumbent BT Group plc (NYSE: BT; London: BTA) is set to acquire next-generation voice platform startup Ribbit Corp. for $55 million.

See the TechCrunch report here, which cites VentureBeat as the initial source.

The reports suggest BT is looking to develop a rival to GrandCentral Communications , the integrated communications service acquired by Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) in July 2007. (See Google Buys Unified Services Startup.)

BT says it doesn't comment on such speculation, but agreed that Ribbit, which came out of stealth late last year, is a fun company name. (See Ribbit Emerges.)

For more background on Ribbit's service, check out this report from Information Week, and see this news release from Ribbit about its enterprise applications launch.

The British carrier is very keen on developing next generation, or Web 2.0, services, so checking out Ribbit would fit in with its desire to become a more software service oriented company. (See Telcos Soften Up and BT Inches Toward Telco 2.0.)

BT did announce an acquisition today, but it was a £20 million ($39.4 million) deal for online directories specialist Ufindus, a move that "underpins the continued growth of BT Directories, BT’s classified advertising and directories business."

— Ray Le Maistre, International News Editor, Light Reading

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