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Akamai Goes Mobile by Acquiring Cotendo

Content delivery network (CDN) specialist Akamai Technologies Inc. (Nasdaq: AKAM) has agreed to purchase application acceleration startup Cotendo Inc. for about US$268 million cash.

That's a net amount that includes "expected purchase price adjustments" and the purchase of unvested Cotendo stock options, according to the companies' press release Thursday morning.

The companies expect to close the deal before July.

Cotendo has 100 employees, 50 of them based in Israel. It's raised $36 million to date, according to TechCrunch, with investors including big-name venture capital firms Sequoia Capital and Benchmark Capital as well as vendors Citrix Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CTXS) and Juniper Networks Inc. (NYSE: JNPR).

Why this matters
Cotendo's focus includes accelerating Web applications for mobile devices, so the startup would add a new dimension to Akamai's CDN. It's got some interesting tricks, such as an HTTP alternative developed with Google (Nasdaq: GOOG), as Streaming Media noted in June. A lot of the slowness of a mobile Web connection comes from HTTP, which was invented long before everyone walked around with smartphones.

Contendo is young, founded in 2008, but it's got big-name backers. AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) is a customer (and, along with Juniper, was pegged last month as possible Cotendo acquirers). The industry appears to have been convinced Cotendo was onto something important, and now that work is in Akamai's hands.

For more
A few recent tidbits on Akamai, Cotendo and their possible merger:

— Craig Matsumoto, West Coast Editor, Light Reading

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