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Cisco Nabs Net Content Delivery Firm

Continuing its shopping spree of various Net companies, Cisco Systems Inc. Wednesday shelled out $800 million for privately-held Web content delivery provider SightPath Inc.

The deal is a stock purchase that will be accounted for as a pooling if interests and is expected to close in the fourth quarter of this year.

For Cisco, which in recent months has coughed up billions of dollars on Net appliance and technlogy firms, SightPath will lend its appliances for creating content delivery networks. SightPath's products, coupled with Cisco's Net infrastructure, will make it easier for Cisco customers to offer applications and services such as e-learning, live streaming media, and high reliability hosting.

SightPath's appliances collect data on Web traffic, congestion and server load in order to route a user's request to the most optimal server. SightPath's appliances also distribute content closer to the edge of the network.

The 76 employees will be led by SightPath Chief Executive Officer Jim Ricotta and will join Cisco's content services business unit in the enterprise line of business led by Senior Vice President James Richardson.

Two weeks ago, Cisco (CSCO) grabbed wireless technology firm JetCell and software firm InfoGear Technology for $200 million and $300 million, respectively.