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Apple, Cisco invest in Net content delivery service

Akamai nets $61.5 million for four and five per cent stakes

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Apple and Cisco today took minority stakes in Internet content delivery specialist Akamai. Cisco's four per cent stake was bought for $49 million. Apple did rather better it spent $12.5 million in June for a five per cent stake, showing it's rather better at monitoring share-price movements than is the Great Satan of Routers. Akamai maintains 900 servers in 15 countries to provide a backbone service for content companies like CNN and Yahoo! The company's software balances demand across the network and performs other such technical jiggery-pokery to maximise playback performance. Last month, Apple announced its QuickTime TV service -- designed to show-off the Mac maker's QuickTime multimedia and media streaming technology -- would be hosted by Akamai. Cisco's interest in Akamai centres on the latter's technology rather than its bandwidth, and the investment will see elements of that technology being incorporated into Cisco's routers and switches, and that's what really explains why Cisco is paying four times as much as Apple for a smaller stake in the company. ®

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