UK job cuts could result when the merger of Network Associates and Dr Solomon?s is completed, according to Symantec chief technical officer Enrique Salem.
Similar industry mergers have resulted in job cuts, Salem agreed, although Network Associates cannot discuss any possible redundancies until the deal closes on 13 August. It is possible Network Associates could keep all Dr Solomon?s employees but the cost would adversely affect its share price, according to sources.
In May, Symantec signed a $16 million deal to buy IBM?s Immune System antivirus technology and to share sales channels for products; just a few days later, Symantec?s rival Network Associates acquired Dr Solomon?s for $642 million (see Newswire, 11 June).
Salem said Symantec?s partnership with IBM is a cheaper and better way to grow, suggesting that Network Associates paid too much for Dr Solomon?s. ?They have reacted to our presence and are still doing the old scan and repair technologies,? he said.
Network Associates, formed from the 1997 merger of McAfee and Network General, has had a bitter rivalry with Dr Solomon?s and Symantec, leading to a spate of legal disputes covering copyright, piracy and even libel. Its move to buy Dr Solomon?s will test the ability of its management to combine three companies.
Speaking exclusively to ?VNU Newswire? Salem said Symantec has launched its Norton 2000 product to check Year 2000 compatibility in corporate and consumer PCs. ?IBM and Symantec?s approach is to use neural network antivirus code, which IBM worked on.? He said it learns how to fight new viruses automatically, like a human immune system, rather than relying on spotting known viruses and repairing problems they cause.
Symantec paid IBM $16 for Immune System plus on-going royalty payments when IBM and its sales channels sell Symantec software, which is now IBM?s preferred antivirus range. Salem said IBM, Tivoli, Lotus and IBM?s other channels will allow Symantec to reach more customers with little overlap. ?When IBM knocks on the door, they talk to the CIO [chief information officer]. We are the preferred supplier, so when they sell our products, they get money for each sale.?
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