Inktomi buys Ultraseek for enterprise portal skills –

Megaportal search software expert Inktomi Thursday said that it had agreed to buy Ultraseek from Walt Disney's subsidiary. The value of the deal was set at about $345 million.

Ultraseek was one of most visible search engine makers in the early days of the Internet. Disney, which has been paring down some of its Internet-related holdings, decided to sell Ultraseek in a mostly-stock deal.

With the addition of Ultraseek, Inktomi will be able to deliver a packaged search solution to what it describes as a growing enterprise information portal market, said Troy Toman, Inktomi's director of business development. He pictured Ultraseek as a low- end search engine that complements Inktomi's high-end offerings.

Inktomi began life as a search engine project at the University of California, Berkeley, and it has developed into a high-end software services provider. The company develops software designed for ISPs, content delivery and hosting providers, and Web portal sites. Inktomi also offers Traffic Server network cache platforms.

Enterprises using lower-end search technology are seeing scalability problems as they grow, said Toman. Thus, Ultraseek customers can be expected to benefit from an infusion of technology from its new parent, Toman suggested.

Ultraseek, based in North Hollywood, Calif., will operate under the Inktomi name, and its employees will join Inktomi, the company said. Inktomi is located in Foster City, Calif.

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