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IBM buys Upstream to build on cloud offerings

[NEW YORK] International Business Machines Corp said on Thursday it bought Ustream Inc, an online video streaming service provider, to boost its cloud offerings for businesses.

Ustream, which counts NASA, Samsung Electronics Co Ltd, Facebook Inc, Nike Inc and Discovery Channel among its customers, offers both live and on-demand video to about 80 million viewers per month.

IBM did not disclose the financial terms of the deal. However, the Fortune magazine reported on Wednesday, citing sources familiar with the deal, that the transaction could be valued at US$130 million.

IBM has been shifting away from hardware by selling low-margin businesses such as low-end servers and semiconductors to focus on high-margin products such as cloud-based services, mobile security and big data.

The new businesses have so far failed to make up for revenue lost to divestitures.

The company reported on Thursday that revenue dropped to US$22.06 billion in the quarter ended Dec 31 from US$24.11 billion a year earlier.

However, revenue from the cloud business jumped 57 per cent to US$10.2 billion.

Ustream, which is headquartered in San Francisco, will be part of IBM's newly-formed IBM cloud video services unit, currently led by General Manager Braxton Jarratt.