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Facebook buys Finland’s Pryte to boost Web reach

Facebook agreed Tuesday to buy the Finnish-based tech startup Pryte, which enables smartphone users to purchase mobile data on demand, the companies announced.

The move could help Facebook further its goal of bringing the Internet to more people around the globe, allowing them to avoid costly monthly data plans and instead buy “bite-sized, app-specific” data packages.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Facebook said the deal would help its efforts to bring the Web to underserved populations though its Internet.org initiative.

“The Pryte team will be an exciting addition to Facebook,” the California-based social network giant said in an email.

“Their deep industry experience working with mobile operators aligns closely with the initiatives we pursue with Internet.org, to partner with operators to bring affordable Internet access to the next five billion people, in a profitable way.”

Pryte, in a blog post, said being part of Facebook would help its goal of establishing new ways for people to use the mobile Internet.

“Since we launched Pryte we have worked to reimagine the way mobile data works in an app-driven world, by enabling partnerships between app and content providers, and mobile operators,” the statement said.

“Now, we’re joining Facebook, whose mission to connect the world by partnering with operators to bring people online in a profitable way aligns closely with our team’s goals.”

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Pryte said the tie-up would “make an even greater impact by advancing the work we are doing in collaboration with Facebook’s great team, working to further Internet.org’s goal of making affordable internet access available to everyone in the world.”

According to Pryte’s website, its service helps both users and mobile operators by allowing people to pay only for data they need for specific applications.

“Many mobile operators are struggling to find their role in the new app-driven mobile ecosystem,” the website says.

“Pryte helps by enabling their customers to buy mobile data the same way they buy their apps — through a single click on their device, combined with bite-sized app-specific data packages.”

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