Software giant Microsoft Corp. today announced plans to buy location-based services company Vicinity Corp. for $96 million.
The companies plan to complete the transaction before the end of the first quarter of 2003, assuming a positive regulatory review and shareholder approval. At that point Vicinity will merge with Microsofts MapPoint unit, according to Microsoft officials in Redmond, Wash.
Vicinity, of Sunnyvale, Calif., has been peddling location-based services since 1995.
The company specializes in application services and APIs for corporations who want to direct their customers to the nearest service outlet or store. Customers range from The Ritz-Carlton to the Home Depot.
"Our combined strengths will put us in a better position to deliver the benefits of location in the widest range of enterprise and consumer applications," said Ted Johnson, Corporate Vice President at Microsoft, in a statement.
The transaction is a cash merger, in which Vicinity shareholders will receive $3.33 in cash in exchange for each share of Vicinity common stock. Shares in Vicinity ended Tuesday unchanged at $2.24.