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RealTime IT News

On Heels of AOL Deal, Akamai Locks in Yahoo!

When the dot-com crash came, Akamai , like other IT product and service sellers, was burned by an over-dependence on startups not long for this world.

So the Cambridge, Mass., firm quickly changed tack, emphasizing the importance of big customers that would provide a more reliable revenues and the chance for follow-up orders for products and services that zip Internet content to users.

The strategy has been validated twice in the last two weeks. Akamai recently expanded its relationship with AOL, installing additional servers at the edge of the Internet service provider's network to speed content delivery. And today, Akamai announced a new pact with portal and content giant Yahoo! .

"Akamai's services have assisted in improving the reliable delivery of information to our users on a global scale, and remain an important component of our technology needs," said Kevin Timmons, Yahoo!'s director of operations.

Under today's deal, Akamai's content delivery, traffic management, and Internet protocol intelligence for tailored ad serving, will enable Yahoo! to provide its 238 million users with consistent service. In addition, Yahoo!, based in Sunnyvale, Calif., will use Akamai's domain name system to handle user requests quickly and effectively.

Neither the value, nor the duration, of the new contract was disclosed. An Akamai spokeswoman was not immediately available for comment.

The companies' relationship dates to 1999, when Yahoo! began using Akamai's content delivery. A year later, Yahoo! added Akamai's traffic management service in 2000. And last year, Yahoo! started using the Akamai EdgeScape service to serve targeted ads .

While the Yahoo! and AOL deals are significant, Akamai is still operating in a tough economy. It recently bought out its lease and moved to smaller offices nearby. Industry watchers will know more about Akamai's overall health when the company releases its third-quarter report after markets close today.