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Gateway to offer discounted books at Texas college

The University of Texas at San Antonio entered into a strategic alliance with Gateway Inc. to sell notebooks, tablet PCs and equipment to students, faculty and staff at a discount.

UTSA also reached a separate agreement with San Antonio Federal Credit Union to provide special financing packages for students on Gateway products.

Irvine-based Gateway is the nation’s third-largest PC vendor. UTSA has an enrollment of more than 26,000 students and 3,500 faculty and staff. UTSA’s agreement with Gateway will last four years.

AOL buys Xdrive

America Online has acquired Santa Monica-based Xdrive, an online storage and backup services company.

Financial terms of the acquisition weren’t disclosed.

AOL says acquiring the company will improve its subscribers’ storage and security options. Xdrive will operate as a stand-alone, wholly owned subsidiary of AOL.

Xdrive’s current customers will continue to use the services to which they have subscribed, AOL says.

The company, founded in 1999, runs a storage service that lets subscribers access their photos, video, music and other data from any Internet connection. Its subscription fee starts at about $10 a month.

Xdrive’s 34 employees will become part of AOL Digital Services.

Texas company buys EDO

Trade Technologies Inc. bought Los Angeles-based Export Documentation Overload, a provider of outsourced letter of credit documentation services to major exporters and freight forwarders.

Trade Technologies is a provider of international trade documentation software and outsourced services based in Austin, Texas.

Carlos Perez, co-founder and CEO of EDO, will become Trade Technologies’ director of operations in Torrance.

EDO was founded in 1980 by Carlos and Gayle Perez and provides outsourced letter of credit preparation services to more than 50 global customers.

RiverOne gains financing

Irvine-based software maker RiverOne Inc. said it raised $6 million in venture funds with the help of its existing investors Rustic Canyon Partners and Baker Capital.

The company said it will put the money toward sales and marketing efforts to broaden its customer base.

Founded in 1999, RiverOne provides supply chain software and services for the electronics industry.

Microsoft buys FrontBridge

Microsoft Corp. said it agreed to acquire FrontBridge Technologies Inc., a Los Angeles-based provider of managed services that address corporate e-mail security, compliance, and availability requirements.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

With the acquired technology, Microsoft said it will be able to deliver a system able to achieve compliance with the Sarbanes-Oxley Act and other regulations with archiving. The technology also can minimize spam and viruses, and ensure e-mail availability in the case of a disaster.

FrontBridge has offices in London, Paris and Winnipeg. Among its customers are AT&T Corp., NEC, and Siemens Business Services Inc.

UC, Cal State to offer legal downloading

The University of California and California State University systems reached an agreement with a Colorado company to offer legal music and video downloads at their campuses.

The individual campuses will decide how to utilize the service from Cdigix, if at all. Cdigix offers both audio and video downloads to 24 college campuses across the country.

The Englewood, Colo., company charges $3 monthly for the music service and $5.99 monthly for the video service.

Both universities are negotiating with other music and video providers, including Napster Inc., Sony Corp. and Mindawn.

CNET buys Metacritic

San Francisco-based CNET Networks Inc. bought Metacritic Inc. and its metacritic.com Web site.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Santa Monica’s Metacritic, uses “Metascores” to rate films, books, games and music. The scores are based on what critics say in their reviews. The company was founded in 2001.

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