To make way on its .NET mapping technologies Microsoft announced it would buy mapping services provider Vicinity Corporation. The transaction is valued at $96 million dollars and provides a premium to Vicinity stockholders who’ll take home $3.33 for each of their $2.24 shares.
Vicinity, founded in 1995, has 117 employees in Sunnyvale, California, and Lebanon, New Hampshire. Microsoft expects to hire many of the Vicinity employees, but admits some overlapping positions will cause layoffs. MapBlast! will be phased out in favor of Microsoft’s MSN MapPoint mapping website. Vicinity executive Teri Dahlbeck explained in a CNET article that the offerings are complementary: Vicinity offers tools for data analysis and marketing use that MapPoint lacks. Microsoft’s forthcoming customer relationship management solution, MSCRM, expected later this year, may one day draw upon Vicinity technology.