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eStara Buys ITXC's Push-to-Talk Service

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Posted October 12, 2001 By Ryan Naraine     Feedback

The Push to Talk software, which is used mostly in e-mail and Web marketing campaigns, allows marketers to add a digital button or text link that sparks a telephone connection between the marketer and the end-user without the use of a regular phone.

By Ryan Naraine

Voice Web services firm eStara has announced a deal to acquire the Push to Talk e-commerce business of New Jersey-based ITXC Corp. (NASDAQ:ITXC) in a deal that involves ITXC taking a minority stake in eStara.

Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed but eStara, headquartered in Virginia, said it would now sell the Push to Talk customer service platform to its existing customers, which include J. Crew, Sprint Corp., and the NHL's Washington Capitals.

The Push to Talk software, which is used mostly in e-mail and Web marketing campaigns, allows marketers to add a digital button or text link that sparks a telephone connection between the marketer and the end-user without the use of a regular phone.

Besides taking an equity interest in the privately-held eStara, ITXC has also secured licensing and call-completion revenue from eStara.

"Both eStara and ITXC retain ownership of their respective patent portfolios with licensing arrangements... The two services will be consolidated into eStara's corporate facility located in Reston, VA, and ITXC will close its facility in Beaverton, OR.," the companies said in a statement.

ITXC said it would retain its Internet voice services businesses, which include a telephony network that provides phone-to-phone wholesale call completion for carriers and resellers.

"Push-to-Talk is a great success for its customers, who have used it to increase both response rates to direct mail and orders from Web sites. eStara is dedicated to the success of this product category and ITXC will share in its success in a number of ways while concentrating on ITXC's main goal of network growth," said Tom Evslin, ITXC Chairman and CEO.

He said the deal would not change forecast ITXC results nor materially affect ITXC's cash position or balance sheet.

eStara's Voice services connect Web site visitors through Web voice (PC-to-phone) connections and call back (phone-to-phone) connections. It lets companies speak and collaborate with on-line customers over the Web in real-time.

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