Micron Acquires Web-Hosting Firm

Low-cost PC manufacturer Micron Electronics has taken another step in its campaign to become a full-service Web-hosting company. A week after announcing it would begin delivering bundles of hardware, software, and Internet access to corporate customers for a monthly "subscription" fee, the company said today it has acquired all the outstanding stock of Kirkland, Wash., Internet service provider Lightrealm Inc. for an undisclosed amount of cash.

"This will significantly bolster our E-services offerings," says a Micron spokeswoman.

Micron says it has more than 60,000 paid hosting accounts, and the Lightrealm acquisition will add 42,500. Lightrealm's annual revenues are about $9 million, according to Micron.

Analysts say the deal will help Micron lessen its dependence on hardware sales, a market in which the company competes with much larger rivals such as Dell Computer and Compaq. "There's no way they can stand up to those other companies in terms of volume, so they need to find ways to diversify," says Lindy Lesperance, an analyst with Technology Business Research.

Micron says it expects the deal to close by Dec. 1, subject to board approval.

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