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There's a lot to like about Akamai Technologies' (Nasdaq: AKAM ) business.
We know because competitors are hungering for a slice of its share of the content delivery networking (CDN) market. On Monday, Limelight Networks (Nasdaq: LLNW ) spent $110 million in cash and stock to acquire EyeWonder, a service for digitally delivering ads. Akamai's related offering is called Advertising Decision Solutions.
More importantly, Amazon.com (Nasdaq: AMZN ) last week announced a plan to stream audio and video via its CloudFront CDN. Industry watcher Dan Rayburn describes the threat the new service could be to both Akamai and Limelight in this blog post:
Amazon does have the potential to take many of the mid-sized customers who spend between $3-5k a month on video," Rayburn writes. "That's Amazon's sweet spot and there are a lot of those customers in the market with the major CDNs.
Dan's right. Amazon's entry won't make it easier on Akamai, and EyeWonder makes Limelight a more serious threat. I'd be more worried if Akamai were a static business, but that's not the case.
Akamai recently announced a plan to implement what it calls Web Application Firewall to help stiff-arm digital threats at their source, in the cloud. Neither Limelight nor Level 3 (Nasdaq: LVLT ) offers a similar service at the moment. Cisco (Nasdaq: CSCO ) and perhaps McAfee (NYSE: MFE ) are Akamai's closest comparables in this area.
So long as Akamai continues to build its stack of services in this way -- and so long as those services are more desirable than open-source or lower-priced alternatives -- Akamai should continue to flourish.
I've had my say. Now it's your turn. Will these moves by Limelight, Amazon, and others force Akamai from the content delivery spotlight? Please vote in the poll below. You can also weigh in with a comment or two, and benefit a great cause in the process.