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Akamai to Acquire Network24 Communications

Content delivery company Akamai Technologies (http://www.akamai.com) said it was acquiring privately-held Network24 Communications ( http://www.network24.com) in a transaction valued at $200 million.

Network24 makes a web-based video broadcasting solution called Qcast which allows businesses to conduct live and on-demand broadcasts. Qcast includes features like audience management, network management, live Q&A, chat, and reporting functions.

"We are thrilled to be able to bring to the marketplace a unique and comprehensive solution for Web content providers that are ready to produce a dynamic, interactive broadband media experience for their users," said Akamai chairman and CEO George Conrades. "The integration of Network24's comprehensive applications as part of our EdgeAdvantage platform is a significant step forward in fulfilling our vision of delivering a better Internet. By adding this powerful e-Business tool to our value-added services platform, we are enabling corporate and entertainment sites alike to provide new and compelling interactive Web functionality."

Although it hasn't officially launched its services, Network24 has already delivered live and on-demand broadcasts for businesses like Hewlett-Packard and IDG. Microsoft's Bill Gates even showcased Qcast during a recent keynote speech and showed how HP was using it to enhance their internal communications.

Network24's CEO and Founder Dan Fraisl said, "Our vision for enabling the Internet to become the next broadcast medium will be greatly accelerated by joining forces with Akamai. What is exciting is that the combination of Network24's application service and Akamai's powerful delivery network will provide customers with the most complete Internet broadcasting solutions available today."

The transaction will be completed primarily in a stock-for-stock merger in which Akamai will issue shares of stock valued at $230 per share. The rest of the transaction will include $12.5 million in cash for a total value of $200 million.

Network24's Dan Fraisl will continue to head the efforts of the newly acquired company.

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