Macromedia, Andromedia merge

Multimedia and Web-tools developer Macromedia has announced a $US210 million merger agreement with e-marketing software provider Andromedia, whose Web-management tools will be folded into Macromedia's Web publishing line.

In a separate announcement, Macromedia officials say the company is spinning off shockwave.com, its recently formed online consumer entertainment business, as a stand-alone, independent subsidiary.

Since its launch in early August, the shockwave.com Web site has registered more than three million users, making it the number three animation site and number four game site on the Web, according to Macromedia representatives.

Extends web suite

The Andromedia merger is part of Macromedia's new eBusiness Infrastructure strategy, which also includes Project Whirlwind (a content-management tool) and partnerships with BroadVision and USWeb/CKS.

The eBusiness Infrastructure is designed to help businesses better manage their Web sites for greater return, says Kevin Lynch, senior vice president and general manager at Macromedia.

"Web sites need a process of continual improvement, and that's not very visible right now," Lynch says. Project Whirlwind products will be released "within a year", he adds.

Macromedia's existing Web tools focus on multimedia site construction; Andromedia's offerings will strengthen the selection to cover site management and maintenance.

Macromedia wants to address trends toward Web sites becoming more dynamic, involving multiple contributors, and becoming increasingly transaction-oriented, Moreno says. Macromedia is particularly interested in content-management tools, and Andromedia's two main products, LikeMines and Aria, tackle this arena.

Andromedia's ARIA Web-analysis tools and LikeMinds personalisation software round out Macromedia's family of Web-publishing applications, she noted.

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