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Akamai Snares Nine Systems

Internet content acceleration firm Akamai is buying Nine Systems, a provider of rich media management tools, in a deal valued at about $169 million.

Akamai said it plans to integrate Nine Systems' Stream OS, which is a suite of configurable rich media management tools for publishing content online, into Akamai's global network.

The Cambridge, Mass-based company said its goal in acquiring Nine Systems is to provide customers worldwide with a unified solution for managing content and controlling delivery across its pervasive rich media distribution platform.

Akamai's global platform includes thousands of specially-equipped servers designed to expedite delivery of dynamic and interactive content, transactions, and applications. Akamai said it handles tens of billions of daily Web interactions for companies such as Audi, NBC, and Fujitsu, and organizations including the U.S. Department of Defense and NASDAQ.

Stream OS, the flagship product of privately held Nine Systems, is focused on solutions for rich media production, publishing and distribution. The San Diego-based firm counts among its customers, Universal Music Group, the NBA, CinemaNow, CBS SportsLine and EMI Music.

"We are excited about offering a new and comprehensive solution for the delivery, management, and control of online media assets," said Paul Sagan, president and CEO of Akamai.

"Nine Systems has established itself as a leader in the creation of powerful Web-based tools for businesses to easily produce, publish, and distribute their streaming and downloadable media.

Integrating Stream OS into our delivery network will allow Akamai to more fully support asset control, rights management, and media reporting to better enable our customers' digital media businesses."

Troy Snyder, president and CEO of Nine Systems, lauded the combined experience and technology assets of the two firms, which he said would create a leader in accelerating content and applications online.

"This is a big win for our customers, and for companies requiring rich media management, publishing, and robust delivery," said Snyder.

Akamai will acquire all Nine Systems stock and options for approximately 3.1 million shares of Akamai common stock and approximately $7 million in cash, the company said, subject to certain closing adjustments.