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Inktomi to buy WebSpective for $106 million

    Inktomi Corp. (Nasdaq: INKT) said Thursday it has inked a deal to buy WebSpective Software, a provider of content distribution and tracking software, for about $106 million.

    Shares closed at 129 13/32 Wednesday, below their 52-week high of 159 1/8. Inktomi has been rolling along, facing little competition in its Internet infrastructure niche. No other proprietary engine has the broad acceptance of Inktomi, whose customers include AOL, Yahoo and MSN.com.

    WebSpective will improve Inktomi's Traffic Server platform to serve the growing Web hosting market, projected to reach $14.6 billion in 2003 by Forrester Research. Inktomi Traffic Server is already used by Web hosting companies such as Cable & Wireless, Digital Island and Exodus. WebSpective's software will also give Inktomi components for the enterprise market, which it plans to enter later this year, according to the company release.

    Inktomi hopes to make Traffic Server "the ubiquitous software layer across the Internet," said David Peterschmidt, president and CEO of Inktomi in a statement.

    Inktomi will acquire 100 percent of the outstanding stock and assume all stock options of WebSpective software in exchange for shares of Inktomi common stock, valuing the deal at about $106 million.