BitTorrent has acquired µTorrent, another file-sharing application that uses its software protocol, it announced Thursday.

The acquisition is another move by BitTorrent to make itself into a legitimate competitor in the online content business. Late last month, the company announced free and fee-based content distribution deals with a number of major Hollywood film and television studios, including News Corporation's 20th Century Fox and Viacom's MTV Networks.

The company will incorporate µTorrent's optimisation feature among others into its own software as part of the acquisition, and add members of µTorrent's community to its own. The two have a combined user base of 135 million, BitTorrent said. It did not disclose financial terms of the deal.

BitTorrent's downloading software allows for the transmission of large files at high speeds by sharing the workload among users of the system. Originally employed by many users for unauthorised transfers of large video and audio files, the company now has agreements with a large number of major content producers to make their products available legitimately.