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Mouse maker spends big on video conferencing

Eeeek... how much?

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Mouse and peripherals maker Logitech is splashing out $405m in cold, hard cash to buy Texan video conference company LifeSize.

LifeSize offers everything from enormous purpose-built video conference rooms to simple add-on bundles for home workers and small businesses.

It claims most of its kit is "HD-quality" and uses ordinary IP networks, not dedicated lines.

The two firms will combine tech expertise, R&D, manufacturing and supply chain expenses.

But LifeSize will continue to operate as a separate division, headquartered in Texas, under chief executive, and co-founder, Craig Malloy.

Malloy said he hoped the deal would allow the firms to accelerate adoption of the technology by all types of business. LifeSize hopes to bring in about $90m in revenue in 2009.

Video conferencing has long been one of the great disappointments of the tech industry - promising much but delivering little, and charging a fortune for it.

The technology is now getting taken more seriously thanks to recent moves by companies like Cisco into video and other collaboration systems.

The deal should close in December, subject to the usual regulator and shareholder agreements. The full press release is here.®

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