Trend Micro buys anti-spyware firm

Trend Micro is to acquire privately held anti-spyware software provider InterMute - which makes consumer and enterprise SpySubtract products - for $US15 million.

Traditionally an antivirus software vendor, Trend Micro made two anti-spyware products available last month - OfficeScan Anti-Spyware Suite for desktop and servers, and InterScan Anti-Spyware Suite for gateway-based spyware blocking.

Company executives are seeking to assure the customer base, channel partners and industry analysts that despite some overlap, the Trend Micro and InterMute product lines will eventually dovetail.

In addition, Trend Micro sees tighter integration between antivirus and anti-spyware.

"We intend to integrate these products to have anti-spyware and antivirus together," CEO, Eva Chen, said.

A fully integrated enterprise product with full combined management and reporting capability is targeted for year-end, she said. However, at the same time, Trend Micro expects to offer standalone anti-spyware software to consumers since research indicates the demand is there.

InterMute, which claims 20 million licensed customers, had only entered the market for corporate-based spyware in the past few months. It recently acquired a Dutch anti-spyware vendor, CWShredder, for its technology in detecting variants of spyware known as CoolWebSearch. Trend Micro is promising to fully support InterMute's consumer and corporate customers over the next several months.

The compnay said it anticipated no layoffs associated with the merger.