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Webroot taps UK-based email filtering firm

Anti-spyware firm moves into security services

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Anti-spyware firm Webroot has announced a deal to merge with UK-based security as a service firm Email Systems. Terms of the deal, announced Tuesday, were not publically disclosed. The merged firm will be called Webroot.

Webroot (the much larger firm and obvious lead partner in the deal) said the merger agreement would allow it to offer a range of email and web filtering services to enterprise organisations, particularly small businesses. Email Systems, established five years ago, competes with the likes of MessageLabs in offering security as a service. Its services protect an estimated 2.5 million email boxes at 1,500 businesses worldwide.

Neil Hammerton, chief exec of Email Systems, cited the chance to take advantage of Webroot's global support and reseller network as among its main reasons for throwing in its lot with the anti-spyware firm. Webroot said it will be "retaining all current employees" and accelerating targeted new hires. It also reaffirmed its commitment to a channel-led sales model in the hosted security space.

Analyst IDC reckons worldwide spending on hosted messaging security services, which totalled $300m in 2006, will reach $1.4bn by 2011. ®

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