Systems management and eBusiness solution provider NetIQ announced this week that it will purchase Internet traffic monitor WebTrends in a deal worth $1 billion. This latest in a long list of industry consolidations will create a combined company that NetIQ CEO Ching-fa Hwang describes as a "powerhouse in business management and intelligence solutions." The merger represents the second major purchase for NetIQ in the past twelve months; in February 2000, the company bought Mission Critical Software for $1.42 billion in stock. NetIQ came to prominence recently when Microsoft announced that it would be licensing the company's Operation Manager product for use in future versions of Windows Server.

"This combination is the logical next step in our strategy to become the unparalleled leader in eBusiness infrastructure management and intelligence solutions," Hwang said. "By joining forces with WebTrends, we will significantly enhance our offering and deliver the most comprehensive solution for managing both Windows- and non-Windows-based platforms such as Linux and Sun Solaris, applications and devices, and Internet-based systems."

The combined company, which will operate under the NetIQ name, will provide a comprehensive set of tools and services for managing servers, networks, directories, Web servers, and Web applications. It has products spanning a number of categories, including systems administration, network performance management, operations management, security management, web management, and eBusiness analytics and intelligence. The transaction is expected to be completed by mid-year.