Some are feeling the pinch of the credit crunch and cutting their spending accordingly, others continue to spend, spend, spend. Symantec would appear to fall into the latter category as it has announced a definitive agreement to acquire online messaging and Web security specialist MessageLabs for a purchase price of around $695 million in cash. This breaks down to a couple of payments, one for $154 million in US Dollars and another for around £310 million in UK Pounds Sterling.

Not that MessageLabs isn't a good buy. It apparently generated $145 million in revenue during the financial year ending July 31, 2008. That represents growth of more than 20 percent over the previous fiscal year.

The idea behind this latest Symantec acquisition would appear to be a step up the ladder, well a few steps right up to the top for all intents and purposes, as far as the rapidly growing Software-as-a-Service and messaging security markets are concerned. It absorbs the eight million MessageLabs end users at more than 19,000 clients, and can now capitalise on cross-selling and up-selling its existing SaaS offerings of backup, storage and online remote access into the MessageLabs customer base.

John W. Thompson, Symantec Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, says that "by combining MessageLabs with our Symantec Protection Network team, we have one of the strongest portfolios of cloud-based infrastructure services and a great foundation on which to grow." Adrian Chamberlain, Chief Executive Officer at MessageLabs adding "Together, with Symantec, we can set a roadmap for the future of online services."

On top of that, comes another announcement from Symantec, this time concerning its deals with Dell. Specifically, that it will be expanding upon a decade-long Dell partnership to deliver what it claims will be the industry’s first "factory-integrated solution that provides quick and efficient, disk-based backup and recovery."

"Customers are trying to deal with unprecedented data growth" said Darren Thomas, vice president and general manager, Dell storage. "At Dell, we deliver simple, capable and affordable storage solutions. Symantec is well known for Backup Exec, it’s advanced, industry-leading data protection software. The DL2000 takes simplicity to another level by combining both of these into one, integrated package to help automate backup and recovery."