Study: Spam Costs U.S. Firms $8.9B Yearly

Spam costs U.S. companies about $8.9 billion in lost productivity, time and equipment cost yearly, according to a study released today by Ferris Research.

Junk e-mail also costs European firms about $2.5 billion yearly and $500 million to U.S. and European service providers. Though spam is not as big an issue in Europe, wireless spam may present problems as the use of text-messaging increases.

Ferris said it takes 4.4 seconds on average to deal with a spam message as opposed to 1 second for deleting regular e-mail. Also, it takes time to recover messages inadvertently deleted by spam filters.

This adds up to $4 billion in lost productivity yearly for U.S. companies. Domestic firms spend another $3.7 billion on more powerful servers, extra bandwidth and other technical issues. The rest is quantified by help-desk support to annoyed users of e-mail.

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