Nice work, Wayne… this is quite interesting.
Now there are articles hitting mainstream press covering the proposed deal, and we can point readers to a rough translation of an article that Google News snagged out of Israel: Hotbar in talks for sale to 180Solutions at Globes.co.il
The article says :
Israeli dot.com company Hotbar Inc. is negotiating its sale at a company value of $52 million. The probably buyer is Internet company 180Solutions Inc.. Sources inform ”Globes” that Hotbar is also negotiating with other companies, including ICQ. Hotbar develops software that sits on the browser, enabling users to change their toolbar to include links to services the company offers. Founded in 1999 by CEO Oren Dobronsky and president Gabriella Karni, the company has raised $15 million to date. Its last financing round was held in 2001. Investors include Eurofund, Tamar technology Ventures, Technorov Holdings, CE Unterberg Towbin, and Deutsche Bank subsidiary ABS Ventures. According to IVC Online, the company had $35 million in sales in 2004.
180Solutions develops software solutions for on-line advertising. The company develops adware, otherwise known as spyware, activities hated by surfers and users of computers. Coincidently or not, this activity is connected to a lawsuit anti-virus developer Symantec Corp. (Nasdaq:SYMC) filed a year ago against Hotbar, in which Symantec demanded that some of Hotbarâ€™s activities be classified as adware. the case was settled out of court a few months ago.
Some of this article seems completely off base and some of the connections are a pretty far stretch. For example, it is hard to discern how the Symantec suit had anything to do with a deal like this being brokered- although the article does reference it as a possible “coincidence”.