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Update: Aladdin in Possible Merger Deal with Activeworlds

Activeworlds to be run under Aladdin umbrella By Dave Nagel
Aladdin Systems and Activeworlds say they have signed a non-binding letter of intent to merge. According to information currently available, both companies would continue to operate as they have in the past. Consummation of the merger will wait for several factors, including a definitive letter of intent.

We have just recently received some information from Aladdin Systems regarding the merger. According to an Aladdin spokeswoman, "We plan to continue to develop our current Aladdin Systems Inc. product offerings (like StuffIt and Spring Cleaning) under Aladdin Systems Holdings as they have been. If this merger goes through, Activeworlds would be run as a fairly separate entity under the Aladdin Systems Holdings Inc. umbrella...."

A statement released earlier today and filed with the SEC seemed to indicate otherwise: "Activeworlds Corp. and Aladdin Systems Holdings Inc. have announced today that they have entered into a letter of intent regarding a nonbinding proposal pursuant to which Aladdin would merge into Activeworlds, which would survive the merger...."

Aladdin, founded in 1988, develops software for Macintosh and Windows, including Stuffit, a suite of file compression technologies that have become ubiquitous across platforms. Activeworlds develops software for deploying and viewing 3D content on the Web. Its servers run on Windows, Solaris and Linux systems, while its plugin runs on Windows only.

There's no word yet on whether the merger would mean a Macintosh port of current Activeworlds software, and it is still entirely possible that the merger will never happen. In January, Activeworlds signed a letter to acquire Los Angeles-based, but the merger never went through. For more information, visit or

Contact the author: Dave Nagel is the producer of Creative Mac and Digital Media Designer; host of several World Wide User Groups, including Synthetik Studio Artist, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe InDesign, Adobe LiveMotion, Creative Mac and Digital Media Designer; and executive producer of the Digital Media Net family of publications. You can reach him at

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