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Google Buys Email Technology Start-Up Sparrow

By John Letzing Google Inc. (GOOG) has acquired email technology developer Sparrow, as the Internet search giant seeks to bolster its Gmail service. Paris-based Sparrow announced the transaction on a company website. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. "We're joining the Gmail team to accomplish a bigger vision--one that we think we can better achieve with Google," Sparrow Chief Executive Dom Leca wrote. Mr. Leca added that the firm will continue to make its service available to users. The CEO thanks a number of individual Sparrow investors including early Facebook Inc. (FB) employee and current Path Inc. CEO Dave Morin. Google unveiled Gmail in 2004. The service is gaining ground on those offered by Google rivals Yahoo Inc. (YHOO) and Microsoft Corp. (MSFT), according to comScore Inc. data. According to the data Gmail's number of total unique visitors rose 17% in June compared to the same month last year, reaching about 277.6 million. Meanwhile Microsoft's Hotmail saw visitors drop 4% over the same period to about 324.2 million in June, while Yahoo saw visitors climb 2% to roughly 290.3 million. Write to John Letzing at john.letzing@dowjones.com Subscribe to WSJ: http://online.wsj.com?mod=djnwires

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