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Google Buys reMail

Yet another company started by a former Google employee has been acquired by Google.

Google on Wednesday acquired reMail, a start-up company that makes an e-mail search application for the iPhone.

In a blog post, founder and CEO Gabor Cselle says that he will become a product manager on Google's Gmail team and that reMail's iPhone application will be discontinued.

"reMail's goal was re-imagine mobile e-mail, and I'm proud we have built a product that so many users find useful," he said. "Still, I feel like we've only seen the beginning of what's possible. Google is the best place in the world to improve the status quo on how people communicate and share information."

Existing users of the reMail application will still be able to use it. The company will continue to offer support through March and has enabled features that previously required payment.

It remains to be seen whether Google will use reMail's technology to enhance its Web-based Gmail application or to create native Gmail applications for Android and the iPhone. Google did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

For Google, the reMail acquisition represents an opportunity to recapture talent previously nurtured by the company: Cselle interned for Google in 2004, before becoming VP of engineering at Xobni, a company that makes software to enhance search in Outlook.

Google's previous acquisition, social search company Aardvark, also brought former employees back into the company fold.

Also on Wednesday, Google's acquisition of video technology firm On2, announced last August, was finally approved by On2 shareholders, who had been holding out for more money.

On2 controls the rights to various high-quality video codecs. Its acquisition has led supporters of open-source software to hope that Google will make the company's video technology available under an open-source license, as an alternative to H.264. Doing so might allow Mozilla, for example, to have its Firefox browser display YouTube video using HTML5, something Firefox doesn't currently support due to licensing issues.

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