Critical Path to Buy RemarQ to offer End-to-End Messaging

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RemarQ Communities Inc., a provider of message-board services, yesterday agreed to be acquired by Critical Path Inc., which manages e-mail and collaboration services for corporations.

The deal moves the 4-year-old RemarQ deeper into the business-to-business area. Critical Path's acquisition will allow the combined entity to offer end-to-end online messaging solutions to clients of both companies.

"It works very well for us in that our message-board service is now part of a larger suite of tools," said Phil Carpenter, director of corporate marketing at San Jose, CA-based RemarQ. "So when the Critical Path team is marketing and selling what RemarQ was formerly offering, it's a much larger bundle."

RemarQ currently maintains message boards and discussion groups for companies such as AltaVista Co., Cisco, Cincinnati Bell, Novell, Procter & Gamble Co., Siebel Systems, and British Telecommunications. These message boards are used by such companies largely for customer feedback, interaction and support.

San Francisco-based Critical Path's data centers connect Internet exchange points to reach over 50 million end users through e-mail services to clients including E-Trade, Network Solutions, CompuServe, U.S. West, Sprint Corp. and France Telecom.

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