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Streaming media firm to buy rival

Enscaler is expected to announce Wednesday a deal to acquire rival Lariat for an undisclosed sum.

Streaming media provider Enscaler is expected to announce Wednesday a deal to acquire rival Lariat for an undisclosed sum.

Seattle-based Lariat sells streaming media applications and a Webcasting audience measurement service in partnership with radio ratings tracker Arbitron.

Sunnyvale, Calif.-based Enscaler provides applications and platforms that aid in the management, tracking and delivery of streaming media on the Web and over corporate intranets, including digital rights management technology and pay-per-view applications.

The deal comes as the Webcasting business has fallen on hard times amid an investment drought, scarce advertising dollars and the threat of new royalty fees that could dramatically increase the cost of Web radio broadcasts.

Enscaler CEO Deepak Srinivasan said the deal combines two distinct market footprints, with Enscaler focusing on larger customers as Lariat appealed to smaller operators.

The companies, both privately held, plan to maintain separate brands for the time being, with Lariat maintaining its headquarters in Seattle.

"There's a huge opportunity in streaming entry-level products," Srinivasan said. "We're looking to offer a smooth upgrade path to the larger more intensive platforms. Lariat's are beachhead products--we allow them to get their feet wet with streaming then as their needs grow we offer them a more robust platform and applications."