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Vodafone acquires contact management service ZYB

The European mobile phone giant plans to integrate the Plaxo-like ZYB, which it acquired for $48.7 million, into its Internet service offerings.

European telecom giant Vodafone announced Friday that its Vodafone Europe BV subsidiary has acquired ZYB, a Danish company that specializes in online contact and calendar management. The price, as stated by Vodafone, is 31.5 million euros, or $48.7 million.

"Using a Web portal as a link between the PC and the mobile device, ZYB provides an interactive way for people to nurture, contact, and develop their relationships with their most important friends and colleagues and builds links with those contacts' wider networks," Vodafone's Internet Services Director, Pieter Knook, said in a statement. "This is Web 2.0 in action."

ZYB is, in a broad sense, a lot like a more mobile-focused version of Plaxo, the contact management service that was acquired by cable giant Comcast earlier this week. It stores members' address books and calendar data online and also connects them with friends who are also using the service.

Later this year, ZYB will be expanding its social-networking operations through a new project called Phonebook, which sounds a lot like Yahoo's OneConnect. Members will be able to see their friends' locations on a map, pull in feeds from external social services like Flickr and Facebook, and share calendars.