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In Mobile Location Tie-Up, Skyhook Wireless Sold to TruePosition

Skyhook, which has been involved in multiple lawsuits against Google, plans to continue to operate independently.

Cellular location company TruePosition, a subsidiary of Liberty Media, acquired Skyhook Wireless for an undisclosed price.

TruePosition’s services include E911 emergency location technologies for carriers, while Skyhook helps device makers and app developers hook into precise location information that’s triangulated from a mix of Wi-Fi, IP addresses, GPS, cell towers and other signals.

Skyhook was also involved in multiple lawsuits against Google over unfair competition and patent infringement, having accused Google of getting its Android partners Samsung and Motorola to stop using Skyhook positioning software in favor of its own. The Skyhook-Google patent suit was supposed to go to trial in 2014, but already the court battles have revealed all sorts of interesting information about the control Google has exerted over the Android ecosystem.

A statement about the deal today from TruePosition CEO Steve Stuut pointed to the value of those patents.

Commenting on the acquisition, Stuut said, “Skyhook’s technology provides TruePosition with another important tool in our technology and patent portfolio that perfectly complements our existing offerings.”

TruePosition had previously been part an effort to get the FCC to try to get carriers to release better information about emergency callers who are indoors. “Skyhook’s commercial focus balances TruePosition’s safety and security strengths, and their location technology further strengthens TruePosition’s ability to accurately locate mobile phones indoors,” Stuut said.

Skyhook and its team of 40 employees will continue to operate as an independent subsidiary. “It’s business as usual,” VP of marketing Mike Schneider told Re/code. He noted recent product advances in helping devices and apps do contextual geofencing around user and venue profiles. “As for the litigation, we don’t expect any impact,” Schneider said.

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