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Broadcast.com to Acquire SimpleNet

Broadcast.com Inc. accelerated its expansion into the small business market Tuesday by acquiring Web hosting firm Simple Network Communications Inc. for $20.75 million in stock.

Broadcast.com said it would introduce self-service audio and video streaming to SimpleNet's customers, allowing them to create their own personalized audio and video programming and broadcast them over the Internet in minutes.

The deal is expected to close in the fourth quarter at which time SimpleNet will become a wholly-owned subsidiary of Broadcast.com.

Mark Cuban, Broadcast.com's president, said the acquisition strengthens the company's position as a leading portal for video and audio on the Web.

"(The acquisition) gives us access to the consumer and small business markets -- two markets with significant growth potential for audio and video streaming. By leveraging SimpleNet's worldwide customer base, we hope to deliver the power of Internet broadcasting to people everywhere, from large corporations to individual consumers," Cuban said.

Robert Bingham, president and chief executive officer of SimpleNet, said the deal will give SimpleNet's customers new services that are not available from other Web hosting firms.

"Through this transaction, we can differentiate SimpleNet's Web hosting services by leveraging Broadcast.com's sales and marketing expertise and extending the company's Internet broadcasting services to our client base of over 15,000 consumer and small-business accounts in over 100 countries," Bingham said.