Now that the Netscape and AOL deal is cut and dried, speculation has arisen about the level of job cuts AOL will want to make.
According to US reports, Netscape is planning to layoff 30 per cent of its worldwide workforce, over 700 employees.
Netscape UK has confirmed an announcement from AOL and Netscape is indeed imminent, but says it is expected to be about how the companies, including Sun, will work together.
Suzanne Burnip, marketing manager Netscape UK, played down the threat of redundancies, saying, ?Whenever organisations merge there will be repercussions, there will be overlap. I don?t think anyone here is expecting to be made redundant.?
AOL spokesperson, Jim Whitney said, ?There will be an announcement later this week as to our plans for operating the two companies together.? He added that more details on the strategic alliance with Sun will not emerge until next week.
The licensing and development agreement that AOL signed with Sun Microsystems when it acquired Netscape means that Sun and Netscape?s application server families now overlap with each other.
Under the terms of the three way deal, Sun will lead the enterprise software development effort, while Netscape will refocus on client software and enhancing its Netcenter portal site. Conflict between Netscape?s and Sun?s competing application server platforms would seem inevitable, however.
A spokesperson for Sun said they had ?no information at the moment? on forthcoming announcements following the Netscape/AOL deal.
So far Netscape has lost former Netscape president Jim Barksdale, but has kept on Marc Andreessen in the role of chief technology officer. Last week the deal was formally approved by the US Department of Justice and Netscape shareholders.
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