Juno Online Services, which is merging with rival NetZero, says it expects to drop patent lawsuits against the free Internet service provider. But it anticipates a downside to the union: layoffs at both companies.
The former competitors had been in a bitter legal fight, filing lawsuits over advertising technology. It's "very, very reasonable to assume that if this merger goes through, these lawsuits will simply go away," said Juno spokesman Gary Baker. He added that the companies expect "some duplicate staff within both organizations." Layoffs would not occur until after the merger is completed, which Baker estimated to be in September or October. The new company, to be called United Online, will be headquartered in Westlake Village, Calif., home to NetZero, but it will still have some presence in New York, where Juno is based. The companies plan to continue offering free services under the NetZero brand and move paid services to the Juno name.