Amazon Buys Touch-Screen Company for Kindle Hardware Division

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A week after Apple introduced its iPad tablet computer device along with an ebook/ereader application that some believe could topple Amazon.com's Kindle device, Amazon announced that it has acquired Touchco, a touch-screen technology company. Amazon, which sells the Kindle ereader device, will integrate the company's operations into its Kindle hardware division.

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Online retailer Amazon.com Inc (AMZN.O) has bought a New York technology company that provides touch-screen technology that could bolster its Kindle electronic reader, the New York Times reported on Wednesday, citing a person briefed on the deal.

The staff of Touchco, which was incubated at New York University's Media Research Lab, will be folded into Amazon's Kindle hardware division in California, the Times' source said.

The acquisition is an apparent move by Amazon to beef up its Kindle electronic reader's capabilities as the e-books war heats up with the arrival of Apple Inc's (AAPL.O) iPad device in stores in late March.

Touchco's technology allows for unlimited and simultaneous touch inputs, which would greatly enhance devices such as e-readers, and is inexpensive, according to a post on the New York Times' Bits Blog in December.

Amazon did not immediately respond to a request for comment, and Touchco's co-founders could not be immediately reached.

Touchco's website states that as of January 2010, the company had ceased to do business.

(Reporting by Phil Wahba; Editing by Richard Chang) 


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