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Accept buys Acuity's ichat

Software provider agrees to buy the ichat product line from Acuity Corporation, expanding its reach in online communities.

ATLANTA--Software provider said today that it agreed to buy the ichat product line from Acuity Corporation, expanding its reach in online communities.

ichat, with one of the largest customer bases of its kind, provides real-time chat, message boards, and instant messaging. will acquire from Acuity the ichat products' software code; ichat's database of almost 2 million "opt-in" email addresses; 2,100 corporate clients; the rights to serve 500,000 customers of the ichat instant messaging service; and ichat's customer and corporate sales databases.

Financial terms were not disclosed. The letter of intent signed by the two companies is subject to completion of due diligence and execution of a final agreement.

"The acquisition of the ichat product line represents a tremendous strategic move for our company," chief executive Mike Moran said in a statement. "As continues its drive toward building locally relevant online communities, the ichat product complements our CPS software and services offering."

Last year, Acuity launched a product called WebCenter and said it would focus on providing software for e-commerce and online customer support and services. It also changed its name to Acuity from ichat. focuses on online communities. It has received more than $20 million in private equity funding. was cofounded by Frank Daniels III, founder of and a former executive editor of the Raleigh (North Carolina) News and Observer.

The announcement occurred at the annual Editor & Publisher's Interactive Newspaper conference being held here. Newspapers increasingly are turning to online chat to help boost traffic on their Web sites.