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CAIS Acquires Atcom

In an effort to make multiple-user Internet access more cost effective, CAIS Internet Inc. Thursday acquired Atcom Inc.

The melding of CAIS's nationwide backbone with Atcom's server software and kiosk products makes for a cost-effective solution to deliver high-speed Internet access to hotels, apartment communities and public areas.

Atcom, a San Diego-based software firm reportedly has a close working association with Microsoft Corp. When the merger is complete, CAIS would be able to significantly reduce its cost of delivering high-speed Internet access to its customers

Ulysses G. Auger II, CAIS chief executive officer, said the merger would reduce the company's dependence on outsourced software and simplify delivery of their sophisticated multiple-user systems.

"In addition to reducing our dependence on third parties for a vital part of our business, this merger reduces our cash costs in a typical apartment community or hotel building installation by over 10 percent," Auger said. "Atcom has an excellent reputation in the hotel and apartment community industry, and brings strong support from Microsoft."

Steve Nye, Atcom's president, said the merger was a logical step toward expanding the multiple-user market for both firms.

"CAIS is clearly the best partner for us in high speed end-user markets," Nye said. "With our product lines combined, we represent a compelling end-to-end solution to customers."

The merger agreement is subject to certain conditions, including the approval of Atcom shareholders. Upon completion of the merger, Atcom will become a wholly-owned subsidiary of CAIS.