Inktomi to Acquire FastForward Networks

Foster City, CA-based Inktomi revealed that it is acquiring FastForward Networks, a provider of Internet broadcasting technology. Inktomi provides search technology for Internet portals as well as a network cache platform and a content delivery suite. The acquisition involves a stock deal valued at $1.3 billion. Inktomi will exchange approximately 11.9 million shares of its common stock for all outstanding shares of FastForward.

Inktomi said the deal will boost its ability to deliver digital radio and TV broadcasting over the Internet. The Internet broadcast market is projected to reach $40 billion by 2003, according to the Aberdeen Group.

This latest acquisition follows a deal Inktomi made in June to buy Go Network's Ultraseek software division for $344.7 million.

Inktomi's caching and content distribution technologies have begun to overshadow its search technology. Last May, Inktomi announced a deal with HP to enable Inktomi Traffic Server and Content Delivery Suite to operate on HP-UX and HP 9000 servers. In addition, HP and Inktomi agreed to explore other opportunities to integrate Inktomi Network Products with HP's WAP gateway and HP OpenView products. In announcing the agreement, HP pointed out that Inktomi Traffic Server caches some of the world's largest networks and that its integration with HP technology would provide a solution that makes delivery of Web content streamlined, scaleable and manageable.

Inktomi and HP have also allied on wireless connectivity to the Internet as part of HP's Mobile E-services initiative for mobile operators and enterprises. As part of this alliance, the companies agreed that Inktomi Traffic Server would become one of the core components of HP's Mobile e-services platform.