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Yahoo to Acquire Mobile News Reader Summly

UP: Marissa Mayer

The Internet company will buy the start-up whose advisors and partners include the likes of Ashton Kutcher, Yoko Ono and News Corp.

Yahoo, led by CEO Marissa Mayer, has agreed to acquire mobile news reader app Summly.

Financial terms weren't disclosed.

Summly offers algorithmically generated summaries of news stories from hundreds of sources, including News Corp.'s Wall Street Journal, Walt Disney's ESPN, NBC News and others. Angel investors and advisors of the company since its late 2011 launch have included Ashton Kutcher, Zynga CEO Mark Pincus, Stephen Fry and Yoko Ono, according to the company. 

"We are also working closely with News Corp. on the summarization of their content," the company says on its website.

STORY: Yahoo in Talks for Stake in France's Dailymotion

"I am delighted to announce Summly has signed an agreement to be acquired by Yahoo," 17-year-old Summly founder Nick D'Aloisio said in an online post. "Our vision is to simplify how we get information and we are thrilled to continue this mission with Yahoo's global scale and expertise. After spending some time on campus, I discovered that Yahoo has an inspirational goal to make people's daily routines entertaining and meaningful, and mobile will be a central part of that vision. For us, it's the perfect fit."

Mayer has said that mobile and video will be two big focus areas for her team at the Internet giant and signaled a willingness to make acquisitions. Yahoo has also been in talks to buy a controlling stake in France Telecom's video site Dailymotion for up to $225 million.

"When I founded Summly at 15, I would have never imagined being in this position so suddenly," said D'Aloisio. Added the young British-Australian entrepreneur: "We will be removing Summly from the App Store today but expect our summarization technology will soon return to multiple Yahoo products - see this as a ‘power nap' so to speak. With over 90 million summaries read in just a few short months, this is just the beginning for our technology."

Email: Georg.Szalai@thr.com Twitter: @georgszalai