Acer of Taiwan to buy computer vendor Gateway

TAIPEI, Taiwan (AP) — Acer Inc. plans to acquire U.S. computer maker Gateway Inc. for $710 million in a deal that will push the Taiwanese company past China's Lenovo Group as the world's third largest vendor of personal computers.

Acer said Monday it is offering to buy Gateway for $1.90 per share — representing a premium of 57 percent to Gateway's closing price last week

With the acquisition, Acer will absorb a company founded in 1985 in an Iowa farmhouse and known for packaging computers in cow-spotted boxes. Now based in Irvine, Calif., Gateway struggled in recent years amid fierce competition and had difficulty selling its products over the Internet and the phone.

New Yahoo! free message service debuts

Yahoo! Inc., the most popular provider of Web-based e-mail in the United States, has added a feature that lets users send free messages directly to mobile phones.

According to a statement by the company, which is based in Sunnyvale, Calif., customers can send messages to mobile phones in the U.S., Canada, India and the Philippines.

Yahoo! Mail and its biggest competitors, Google Inc.'s Gmail and Microsoft Corp.'s Hotmail, are adding features to attract and keep users. Yahoo is the first of the three to offer free text messages, after adding more storage and instant messaging in February to match some features provided by its rivals.