Symantec today announced it has entered into an agreement to acquire privately held Clearwell Systems for about $390 million (£240 million), a move that will put Symantec in the e-discovery market.
The deal, expected to close in September, will give Symantec technology that will help it deliver applications and services for businesses and government agencies to help them find data often demanded for legal or compliance reasons.
The Clearwell acquisition "will further increase Symantec's ability to get the right information, to the right people, at the right time, while reducing overall legal review costs and limiting risk," said Deepak Mohan, senior vice president, information management group at Symantec.
In a conference call, Symantec President and CEO Enrique Salem said there's substantial market growth in e-discovery because customers are shifting from "manual discovery to automated e-discovery." He also said the company intends to pursue possibilities in providing e-discovery as a cloud-based service.
Fully 80% of Clearwell's earnings are said to come from inside the U.S. Symantec says it expects to add 200 employees from Clearwell after the acquisition is complete.
Symantec says Clearwell's eDiscovery product is a natural fit with Symantec's Enterprise Vault, with which it's already integrated. In addition, Symantec said it will look to other integration and sales possibilities associated with its NetBackup, Data-loss Prevention and Data Insight products.
Symantec said Gartner estimates the e-discovery market overall will reach about $1.7 billion by 2014.