June 7, 2006 12:53 PM PDT

Adware makers 180solutions, Hotbar merge

Advertising software makers 180solutions and Hotbar announced Wednesday that they have merged into a new business called Zango.

Bellevue, Wash.-based 180solutions makes software, including its now-namesake Zango Search Assistant, that delivers pop-up ads as people perform Web searches. Hotbar, based in New York, offers toolbars with ad displays for Microsoft's Internet Explorer, Outlook and Outlook Express.

"The merger creates increased available inventory and an even larger audience of potential customers whom advertisers can target utilizing Zango's time-shifted ad-delivery model," 180solutions and Hotbar said in a joint statement.

As part of the transaction--in effect a takeover of Hotbar by 180solutions--82 former Hotbar employees will join the newly named company; another 40 people are joining Hotbar's founders in a new endeavor; and about 20 employees have been let go, York Baur, executive vice president of business development at Zango, said in an interview Wednesday.

In exchange for displaying ads, Zango and Hotbar give access to content such as videos, games and tools. Anti-spyware programs, however, typically flags both the Hotbar and the Zango software as "risky."

180solutions and Hotbar face increased consumer awareness and a crackdown on spyware by federal officials. Both companies have been involved in legal fights with security software makers over the designation of their products as malicious technology. An anti-spyware watchdog group has lodged official complaints against 180solutions.

Despite the opposition, the ad-serving companies have prospered, York said. "We have enjoyed 16 consecutive quarters of profitability," he said, declining to provide further details. Zango now has more than 200 employees, York said.

The new company will be headquartered in Bellevue and will continue to offer both the Hotbar and Zango products. Millions of people use those applications, according to Zango. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

See more CNET content tagged:
180Solutions, Checkpoint Systems Inc., Bellevue, software company, adware


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millions of customers use it
they forgot to include the word "ignorant" before the word customer.
Posted by The user with no name (259 comments )
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180 and hotbar merge?
So now its official! before we all just assumed they were the same
thing before deleting them the hell off a PC
Posted by Viv Collins (74 comments )
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A turd by any other other name will still stink
Deception and dishonesty is the product these companies truly produce and a name change is just another way of trying to hide from their past so they can deceive more people.
Posted by aabcdefghij987654321 (1721 comments )
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180/Hotbar merger
I just hope that these guys days are numbered. Malware is Malware no matter, how they slice it and dice it. What I don't get is why these guys are still around. What is going on in the heads of their customers? I don't want crap on my computer, neither does anyone I know, and they all have PC's. Your computer is like your home, you don't want it invaded. Any ideas?
Posted by Gwynnaserra (3 comments )
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