Symantec snatches up antispam vendor

Symantec Corp. Wednesday signed an agreement to acquire antispam vendor Brightmail Inc. for US$370 million to complement its lineup of gateway security software.

Symantec said that anti-spam technology is key to its product lineup because spam has become one of the most severe threats to individuals and enterprises today.

Brightmail uses multiple proprietary technologies, a globally deployed detection network, and a dynamic rule delivery mechanism to identify and filter unsolicited or unwanted electronic messages. In the month of April, Brightmail filtered 96 billion e-mail messages and reported that 64 percent of the e-mail that passed through its filters was spam.

The acquisition is the next step in an established partnership in that Brightmail already has integrated Symantec's anti-virus technology into its infrastructure.

Symantec made a strategic investment in Brightmail in July 2000 and currently holds an approximately 11 percent equity stake in the company.

Just last month, Brightmail filed a registration statement for an initial public offering, but its board of directors and stockholders concluded the combination with Symantec was a more favorable strategic alternative.

Brightmail Chairman Eric W. Spivey, said in a prepared statement, "This is a tremendous win for Brightmail... The combination of the two companies will be an impressive force in the security space."

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