Two of the largest software e-tailers joined forces Monday with Internet
superstore acquiring BUYDIRECT.COM in a stock deal worth approximately
$133.65 million. will issue 5.4 million common
shares to finance the deal. Both companies’ board of directors have approved the transaction which is expected to close by the end of March.

The companies expect big benefits from the deal, due in large part to’s e-tailing partnerships with @Home

“This acquisition solidifies as the world leader in software
resale over the Internet,” said Mark Breier,’s president
and chief executive officer.

“Together, we now boast nearly 1 million cumulative
customers, a deep management team, a talented pool of experienced engineers, leading proprietary digital download technology and one of the most complete lists of
portal, content and broadband partnerships in the industry.” also plans to leverage the resources of BUYDIRECT.COM’s
content providers, which include CNET and ZDNet.
Recently BUYDIRECT.COM singed with ZDNet to become the main online software
retailer across that company’s network of sites. That agreement also calls for BUYDIRECT.COM to receive major
promotional opportunities throughout the ZDNet site.’s also recently became the premier software merchant on
and has also sealed partnerships with America
, Excite, and Netscape.
In addition has partnerships with software publishers Autodesk,
Microsoft, Network
Associates and Netscape to fulfill their online software orders. will gain a strong customer base in the small office/home office
market sector, adding to’s customers in the consumer, government
agency and enterprise markets. The acquisition also gives more
than 200,000 new customers from BUYDIRECT.COM, and new services including
downloadable software tutorials.

“In our view, our combined companies simply can’t be beat in branding,
distribution partners, content and technical expertise,”
said Bong Suh, BUYDIRECT.COM’s chief executive officer.

“When considering
the excellent product fit, complementary
marketing and distribution channels, and the strong cultural match between
our two companies, we believe this acquisition
benefits our collective customers, publishers, employees and
stockholders,'” Suh said. said it does not expect to layoff any employees.
Mark Breier will retain his title as’s president and chief
executive officer. Bong Suh, chief executive officer of
BUYDIRECT.COM, is to become vice president of corporate development for, developing additional large-scale partnerships.

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