Menu Briefs: Solution 6, Amazon, Ariba, Agile Briefs: Solution 6, Amazon, Ariba, Agile

Sol6 gets ACCC OK

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has announced it will not stand in the way of accountancy software vendor Solution 6 buying out its competitor, Ceedata.

Ceedata supplies accountancy software under the Xlon brand name and was offered $10 million in cash, 15 million Solution 6 shares, and an option of a further 10 million Solution 6 shares at $1.25 each.

ACCC chairman Allan Fels considers both companies to be major suppliers of professional accountancy software to the Australian corporate market, but feels the merged entity is not a threat to competition.

"The ACCC found that although the merged entity would enjoy a significant market share, barriers to entry are not insurmountable and the new business would come under an increasing competitive challenge from other expanding software suppliers," Fels said in a statement.

Amazon scrapes through, the e-tailer the world uses as a benchmark for the health of the dot-com phenomenon, beat analyst expectations for the fourth fiscal quarter, but also warned it will soon cut 15 per cent of its workforce, equating to around 1300 jobs.

Amazon reported a pro forma net loss of $US90.4 million for the quarter ending December 31. The quarter also saw a 44 per cent increase in sales over the same period last year, posting revenues of $972 million. Overall annual sales for 2000 were $2.76 billion, 68 per cent higher than in 1999. The e-tailer now expects to be profitable by the end of 2001.

The company will close a distribution centre and customer service centre in the US, and has set up a trust fund for employees who will lose their jobs.

Ariba grabs Agile

Business-to-business e-commerce software vendor Ariba has indicated it intends to acquire Agile Software Corporation, a US-based collaborative development software company.

The acquisition is an all-stock affair that, at present market conditions, is worth approximately $US2.55 billion. It has been approved by the boards of both companies but is yet to be passed by shareholders and regulatory bodies. Ariba released a statement suggesting it expects the acquisition to be completed by the third quarter of fiscal 2001.

In the Asia-Pacific region, Agile only has operations in Japan and Taiwan but is expected to push its collaborative software products through new channels once under the management of Ariba, whose B2B platform has made substantial inroads in the Australian market over the last 12 months.

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