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Symantec pays $123m for consumer online storage house

SwapDrive swaps owners

Security for virtualized datacentres

Symantec Vision '08 Symantec has stealthily purchased the online storage firm SwapDrive, slipping a reported $123m into the startup's pocket to flesh-out the consumer side of Symantec's web services.

Both companies have been pretty quiet about the deal — but an insider source to TechCrunch cites the noteworthy figure Symantec was willing to pay for SwapDrive. A visit to the SwapDrive site or its sister location Backup.com makes the change of guard now rather obvious.

Symantec already runs web-hosted storage services, Online Backup and Online Storage, targeted only at small and medium businesses. The company opened the service doors in February, about a month after Symantec's storage management rival EMC officially took the reins of Mozy. (We should note, though, that neither company was very quick about entering the market.)

Symantec said in a statement that SwapDrive will be put to use in the Norton portfolio.

"With the completion of the SwapDrive acquisition, we are building a solid foundation upon which to offer our Norton customers a comprehensive solution to help secure and manage all of their digital information, across all of their devices."

A spokesman also confirmed today the deal is strictly for the consumer market. However, he wouldn't go into further details — deferring instead to another statement issued today that is somewhat dismissive of the buy.

The new statement calls it a "small, targeted acquisition" — which is certainly an odd description, if the $123m price tag is to be believed. To compare, EMC only paid an estimated $76m for Mozy. We'd say SwapDrive came out pretty well here.

SwapDrive says it controls more than 60 online backup services and brands. It provides wholesale storage pricing to partners, who then repackage the service and bump up the retail price.

The deal is expected to close by the end of its June 2008 quarter. ®

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