AT&T and Cambridge’s Akamai end rivalry, join forces to deliver Web content

Deal expands customer base for Cambridge firm

Cambridge’s Akamai Technologies Inc. is teaming up with AT&T Inc. to begin delivering web content for the telecommunications giant.

The agreement ends a longtime rivalry between Akamai and AT&T in the business of content delivery network services, which allow video and other information to be sent over the Internet. It also gives Akamai access to a vast new customer base.

News of the deal Thursday helped push Akamai stock up 9.4 percent to $38.84 at midday. Financial terms of the agreement were not released.

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The partnership with AT&T “gives us an overnight ability to increase the performance of the Web for AT&T users,” said Brad Rinklin, chief marketing officer at Akamai, which operates more than 100,000 computer servers globally and helps power websites for such companies as MTV Networks and Major League Baseball.

The AT&T partnership continues Akamai’s strategy of forming relationships with other telecommunications companies. Last month, it inked a deal with French telecom company Orange to provide Akamai technology to Orange’s business customers.

AT&T will start using Akamai technology in its North American market and then expand the partnership globally over the next year.

“The alliance with Akamai positions us perfectly to deliver premier content delivery solutions to our business customers,” said Andy Geisse, chief executive officer of AT&T Business Solutions, in a statement. The arrangement is especially crucial as “companies and consumers alike are accessing video content and other applications online and from a multitude of devices.”