• United States
by Staff

In brief: Tellabs to pay $1.9 billion for AFC

May 24, 20044 mins

Also: Anti-spam companies get snapped up; ICANN wins one against VeriSign; Enterprise Architecture Interest Group launches; Senate calls for greater CAN-SPAM enforcement; and more

  • Tellabs is buying Advanced Fiber Communications for $1.9 billion, bringing high-speed access gear to Tellabs’ portfolio and a five-year contract to provide fiber to the premises gear to Verizon. The deal, expected to close by year-end, will result in a company that can provide access and transport gear to major carriers. Tellabs historically has been a major supplier to the RBOCs of digital cross-connect transport switches – circuit switching gear. The acquisition represents another step in the reshaping of Tellabs to supply packet-based gear to service providers. That transformation has meant massive layoffs and aggressive acquisitions of technology that let the company branch out into new areas.

  • Anti-spam companies were popular acquisitions last week, as Symantec announced it has signed an agreement to purchase anti-spam gateway software vendor Brightmail for $370 million and Entrust said it has agreed to buy Canadian firm AmikaNow, a provider of e-mail content scanning and anti-spam tools, for an undisclosed price. Symantec four years ago took an 11% equity stake in Brightmail, which has integrated Symantec’s anti-virus filtering technology. Symantec already offers an enterprise product called Symantec Mail Security for SMTP Gateway that includes Symantec’s anti-spam technology.

  • A federal judge has dealt a setback to VeriSign in its lawsuit against the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, the nonprofit corporation responsible for managing the Internet’s DNS. Judge A. Howard Matz dismissed VeriSign’s claim that ICANN had violated anti-trust law by stifling the introduction of new VeriSign services, but the judge gave the Internet domain name registrar until June 7 to try again to make its anti-trust argument. VeriSign filed the suit against ICANN in February alleging that ICANN has strayed from its 1998 charter agreement to be a technical coordination body and has hampered the introduction of VeriSign services such as internationalized domain names and a wait-list service for expired domain names. The ruling covered only the first of seven claims VeriSign made, according to a company spokesman. The other six claims allege breach of contract, covering a 1998 agreement between VeriSign, ICANN and the U.S. Department of Commerce, which was renewed in 2000, he said.

  • A band of IT executives have teamed to launch an alliance, the Enterprise Architecture Interest Group, which aims to help companies develop and share tips on building well-structured IT systems. The fledgling group plans to release next month its first creation, a set of 12 meta models intended as architectural building blocks. It also has working groups studying ways to measure the benefits of formalizing an enterprise architecture, and developing value models for use by EAIG members and their organizations. Founding member Richard Taggart, chief architect at General Motors, said EAIG’s goal is to create standards, methods and practices for enterprise architecture. For now, the group is excluding vendors, preferring to stay vendor-neutral and base its work on users’ input.

  • The chairman of a U.S. Senate committee called for more federal enforcement of a new anti-spam law amid reports last week that the amount of spam sent to U.S. consumers might be rising, not dropping, since the law went into effect in January. Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) questioned why the Federal Trade Commission hasn’t focused on the companies using spammers to advertise their products while that agency attempts to enforce the Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing Act. The FTC and federal law enforcement officials brought CAN-SPAM and other charges against two alleged spamming companies in late April, but McCain urged the FTC and the FBI to step up their enforcement efforts against spammers, including child pornography spammers. Representatives of spam-filtering service Postini and the Consumers Union told the committee that the amount of unsolicited commercial e-mail continues to rise after CAN-SPAM became law. Postini, which processes about 1.3 billion e-mails per week, has seen the percentage of spam in that e-mail processed increase from 78% to 83% since CAN-SPAM went into effect.

  • The Computing Technology Industry Association cheered the introduction of legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives last week that would let many taxpayers, including employers and laid-off workers, receive a tax credit of up to $4,000 per year for technology training. The Technology Retraining And Investment Now Act of 2004, known as the TRAIN Act, would allow the tax credit on qualified expenses used for technology-related training. Workers could get 50% of their training costs reimbursed each year, getting up to $4,000 back. In some economically poor areas, workers could get up to $5,000 of training costs given back in the tax credit. The credit could be used by employed and unemployed workers, and employers.