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 user 2005-03-26 at 10:01:00 am Views: 70
  • #11096
    H-P to acquire online photo
    startup Snapfish

    SAN FRANCISCO—Hewlett-Packard plans to acquire online
    photo services startup Snapfish, the computer maker announced Monday.

    Palo Alto-based H-P hopes to boost sales of its popular
    photo printers and ink by targeting the San Francisco-based company’s 13 million

    Snapfish’s Web site contains roughly 350 million photos,
    which users can organize into digital albums, share with other members, turn
    into calendars or mouse pads, and have printed for as little as 15 cents per

    The companies would not disclose terms of the acquisition,
    which is expected to close in April.

    Snapfish is an independent unit of District Photo, which
    started as a black-and-white photo lab in Washington D.C. in 1949. District
    Photo is the world’s largest mail-order film processor, with labs in the United
    States, United Kingdom and Canada.

    H-P is the latest technology powerhouse to move more
    aggressively into the lucrative niche of online photos. Americans will purchase
    roughly 20.5 million digital cameras this year, up more than 70% from last year,
    according to the trade group Photo Marketing Association.

    On Friday, Internet portal Yahoo signed a deal to buy
    Canadian photo-sharing startup Flickr, which lets people upload digital photos
    from computers and camera phones, publish photos in their blogs, share digital
    photo albums with anyone else who uses the service and alert other users
    whenever they upload a new photo or album.

    Last summer, Google purchased digital photo software
    company Picasa, which helps users edit and circulate large numbers of photos.

    Larry Lesley, senior vice president for H-P’s Consumer
    Imaging and Printing division, said the computer maker plans to ask all 1.5
    million HPphoto.com customers if they’d like to migrate to Snapfish when the
    deal closes next month. Then Snapfish’s 80 employees will work with H-P to
    produce new products and services — including promotions that help people who
    don’t have fancy photo printers print images from their digital cameras.

    “This is absolutely a natural extension of our digital
    photography strategy,” Lesley said Monday. “It’s not just about printing 4-by-6
    photos. We’re talking about creating things with images you couldn’t possibly do
    at home or at retail — personalized neck ties, baby blankets, all kinds of