Google’s successful bid came after Apple had expressed interest in buying Wavii to incorporate the startup’s natural language technology into Siri, Apple’s voice-activated personal assistant feature, said the person, who declined to be named because the deal has not been publicly announced.
Google and Wavii declined to comment.
Google’s purchase comes several weeks after Yahoo paid a similar amount to acquire Summly, the news reader and Wavii competitor founded by 17-year-old Nick D’Aloisio in London.
The deals have taken out of play two small companies that sought to enhance how consumer experience news — a significant concern for Google and Yahoo, which both maintain highly trafficked news sites.
In separate interviews last year, Wavii founder Adrian Aoun and D’Aloisio acknowledged the competition between the two startups.
D’Aloisio touted Summly’s superior user interface, which condenses articles into several easy-to-read paragraphs. Aoun played up his app’s technology, including a proprietary algorithm that boiled down complex news stories into sentences of just a few words.
News of the acquisition was first reported by Techcrunch.