Opera Acquires Rival Skyfire, Ending Mobile Browser Rivalry

Nothing effectively ends a mobile browser rivalry like an acquisition of one competitor by the other.

On Friday, Opera Software confirmed it has acquired mobile browser rival Skyfire Labs, an emerging leader in mobile video optimization and cloud solutions for mobility.

Skyfire, however, is primarily known for its Rocket Optimizer software. Skyfire currently counts three large U.S. mobile operators as customers.

“Opera and Skyfire are a natural fit,” says Lars Boilesen, CEO of Opera Software. “Both companies have evolved far beyond their browser roots. Skyfire adds capabilities to our portfolio around video, app optimization, smartphones and tablets, and strength in North America.”

“With video expected to consume over two-thirds of global mobile bandwidth by 2015, and as time spent on Android and iOS apps explodes, we are excited to extend Opera’s solutions for operators,” Boilesen says.

The acquisition price, we’re told, includes a mix of cash and stock, with an upfront consideration of $50 million and performance based earn-out payments over three years that could bring the total deal size to $155 million.

The acquisition is expected to close by mid-March.