Amazon has purchased Evi, a British startup that builds voice recognition software similar to Siri, for $26 million, TechCrunch reported, crediting unnamed sources as representatives from Amazon, Evi, and venture capitalist backers are not commenting.
The deal has been adding fuel to Internet rumors that Amazon will release its own smart phone, though it likely that the voice recognition software will be used for Amazon's wildly successful Kindle Fire.
Last year, Apple nearly pulled Evi from the Apple Store, relenting only on the condition that the competing app's user interface looked different from Siri's.
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Maura McGowan is a contributor to Adweek.