The acquirer is in Chapter 11, and the acquired company is not. But MCI
has sealed the deal on its acquisition of managed hosting provider Digex
, after its revised $1 a share offer coaxed several key holdouts into tendering their shares.
The merger ends the arms-length relationship the two companies sought to maintain after WorldCom acquired Digex parent Intermedia in early 2001, in which Digex remained an independent company although WorldCom owned the majority of Digex' shares. That allowed Digex to stay out of bankruptcy when WorldCom sought protection in July 2002. But the depth of the business ties between the companies left a cloud over Digex, which placed itself for sale late last year.
Prices in the shared hosting market are likely to continue trending lower, according to Bob Parsons, the president of Go Daddy
, a pacesetter in driving prices lower in the domain name business.
"I see (hosting prices) getting more competitive," said Parsons. "Hosting is getting to be a commodity. It truly is."
As European providers and domain registrars expand into the US hosting market, low-priced hosting plans are a potent tool to gain attention and market share. Go Daddy, the fastest-growing domain registrar with more than 3.6 million registrations, recently introduced shared hosting accounts ranging in price from $3.95 to $9.95.
Cable & Wireless
today said it has reduced losses at its American operating unit but had not yet resolved the best way to exit the US business. "No decisions have been made" about whether to place the US unit into Chapter 11 bankruptcy, according to CEO Francesco Caio. "We're still looking at a wide range of options." In the meantime, the company has closed eight US data centers and reduced staffing by 1,000 workers, cutting costs by $167 million (100 million pounds) from the second half of 2002.
Best practices can go a long way toward improving Internet security. But truly meaningful advances in security will require the complete overhaul of core network protocols, according to Dr. Bill Hancock, chairman of the Internet Security Alliance
"The biggest problem I see is that a lot of protocols we use were developed in the 1970s," said Hancock, the Chief Security Officer at Cable and Wireless. "The bottom line is that all those protocols need to be redone. Until we start improving those protocols, we'll continue to see problems."
has become the latest domain registrar to launch a major push into the shared hosting business, following in the footsteps of registrar competitors
. Bellevue, Wash.-based eNom is the fifth-largest domain registrar, having registered more than 2.4 million domains.
Speculation about the fate of Cable & Wireless' American hosting operation is nothing new. But the latest media reports are focusing fresh attention on US bankruptcy law and the options it offers for restructuring telecom assets.
Cable & Wireless plans to exit the US hosting market and has been trying to sell operations that include at least 12 data centers. C&W had no specific comment yesterday on reports that the company's US operations will shortly file Chapter 11, a possibility it acknowledged in June, saying it would "consider all options" for disposing of the assets it purchased from Exodus Communications and Digital Island.