— Uber, Amazon and Lyft are joining forces to launch an e-mail service for the transportation industry in an agreement that could pave the way for the next wave of e-commerce giants.
Uber, a San Francisco-based company, said Wednesday that it will acquire e-messaging platform Twilio Inc. for $970 million, a deal valued at about $400 million, or more than twice as much as Google Inc. paid for Twitter Inc.TWILIO will join Uber in a new business, which is being built around email, said a person familiar with the matter who spoke on condition of anonymity because the agreement was not yet final.
Uber will acquire Twilium for about $700 million, the person said.
Uber is also working on a mobile-messenger service, said the person, who was not authorized to discuss the matter publicly.
The deal will be announced next week, the source said.
The deal is expected to create a major competitor to Google Inc., which has been aggressively pursuing e-mails and other data services.
It will also provide an important opportunity for the e-marketplaces industry to compete with Google Inc.’s dominant presence in the market for mobile-email and other services.
Google owns Google Voice, Google Maps, Gmail and YouTube.
Amazon has been testing an ecommerce service since 2014, and Facebook Inc. is planning a similar service.
Uber and Twilios aim to offer a free email service that allows users to post messages from anywhere in the world.
Twiliais software, however, would be built on Google’s technology, and Uber is developing the service from scratch, a person with knowledge of the matter said.
Twiildirectories, which Google uses for Google services, would allow for e-payment, which would help Uber compete with other e-reputation services.
Uber is planning to open a new service in the coming weeks, the company said.
Google and Twiilex will merge in 2019, the two companies said in a joint statement.
The company said it will build the new service on Google technology and will operate as a separate company.
Twiwilio is currently in talks with companies such as Apple Inc., Facebook Inc., Yahoo Inc. and other companies, the people said.