SAN FRANCISCO: Amazon.com Inc paid about $90 million to acquire the maker of Blink home security cameras late last year, in a secret bet on the startup’s energy-efficient chips, people familiar with the matter told Reuters.The deal’s rationale and price tag, previously unreported, underscore how Amazon aims to do more than sell another popular camera, as analysts had thought. The online retailer is exploring chips exclusive to Blink that could lower production costs and lengthen the battery life of other gadgets, starting with Amazon’s Cloud Cam and potentially extending to its family of Echo speakers, one of the people said.Amazon views its in-house devices as key to deepening its relationship with shoppers. The Cloud Cam and Echo currently need a plug-in power source to operate. Blink, which says its cameras can last two years on a single pair of AA lithium batteries, could change that. Amazon declined to comment on the acquisition’s terms or strategy.The deal so far has drawn little attention. The camera maker announced its takeover by Amazon with scant details in a Dec. 21 blog post.Published in Daily Times, February 13th 2018.