Page last updated at 07:25 GMT, Tuesday, 2 March 2010

Google to buy photo-editing site Picnik

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Google is back on the acquisition trail

Internet search giant Google has bought online photo-editing site Picnik - its third deal in three weeks.

The firm did not disclose the cost of buying Picnik - a five-year-old start-up based in Seattle.

The 20-strong team will start working on Picasa, Google's online photo sharing service.

In an eventful period since September, Google has bought eight companies, introduced a social network named Buzz and threatened to pull out of China.

Last month, Google bought social search engine Aardvark and mobile e-mail service reMail.

It also said it would become a network provider, offering super-fast broadband to thousands of US homes.

In October, Google chief executive Eric Schmidt said the company would resume its historic pace of acquiring one small company a month on average, with larger deals happening every year or two.

Google said on 12 January that hackers had tried to infiltrate its software coding and the e-mail accounts of Chinese human rights activists, in a "highly sophisticated" attack.

The California-based company, which launched in China in 2006, said it would quit the country unless the government relaxed censorship.

China has denied being behind the attacks.

It also launched Google Buzz, a social network that is part of its e-mail, but was heavily criticised for not offering enough privacy protections.

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