Accessing the source

Tokyo, Japan-based Access, the Internet access software provider, is to buy US-based PalmSource in a $324.3 million deal.

The purchase brings together two of the biggest names in mobile software development. The Japanese firm, of course, is best known for its NetFront browser for mobile devices while Sunnyvale, CA-based PalmSource is the company behind Palm OS, a leading operating system for mobile devices with over 45 licensees worldwide.

The combination of Palm OS with Access software is expected to give Access one of the broadest lines of mobile software in the industry. PalmSource’s earlier acquisition of China MobileSoft, a developer of Linux technology, provides the foundation for Access to promote Linux-based platforms for mobile devices in the US, France and China.

The merger agreement has been approved by the board of directors of each company and is expected to be completed by the end of 2005 calendar year, pending regulatory approval and the approval of PalmSource’s shareholders.