Thursday, 4 January 2007

Anti-Spam Market Consolidation Continues -- Cisco Buys IronPort

Today, Cisco announced that it has acquired IronPort Systems for $830m in cash and stock.

Cisco is of course well-known for its "growth by acquisition" strategy, and was notably lacking in solutions for email hygiene. It makes sense for it to buy an appliance vendor.

IronPort and Ciphertrust have been the appliance market leaders for some time (albeit challenged by the appliances launched by large, conventional software vendors such as Sophos and Symantec). Ciphertrust was of course bought by Secure Computing in 2006, thus leaving Cisco with an obvious choice.

Will we look back at 2007 as the year of spam control market consolidation? We've certainly seen some significant M&A activity in previous years, but there's still plenty of scope for your vendor to be acquired or run out of VC money.

[Edit: it's now officially $830m, not $850m as I was originally advised by IronPort]

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