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Content filtering firms merge to fight the big boys

Marshal8e6 mashed up

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Content filtering firms Marshal and 8e6 Technologies have agreed to merge. Financial terms of the deal, announced Wednesday, were not disclosed.

The combined firm will be rather inelegantly known as Marshal8e6 and start off with 20,000 customers and sales of $50m over the past 12 months, according to a statement the company put out. It all sounds like a moderately secure web password, or perhaps a Twitter login ID for someone into classic British valve amps.

The merger marks an attempt by two smaller firms to combine forces against larger competitors like Websense and Symantec in the internet content security market.

Marshal brings email and web content security software to the party, whereas 8e6 is best known for its web filtering appliances. The combined firm will have 250 workers and major R&D and sales operations in California and the UK, as well as in Auckland, New Zealand and Taipei, Taiwan.

In its previous guise Marshal, the larger of the two firms, enjoyed its strongest market presence in schools, universities and small businesses selling content filtering technology. The combined firm is targeting the secure web gateway market for growth in a move that will put it toe-to-toe with the likes of Fortinet and others, though it's still essentially a content filtering firm.

Although Marshal8e6 has technology to filter anything from emails to IM and websites it lacks the firewall or intrusion protection technology that would push it into the unified threat management appliance market. ®

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