RealNetworks Inks Lotus Deal

Shares of Internet voice and video specialist RealNetworks rose more than 25 percent Monday after the company announced a distribution pact with Lotus.

RealNetworks (RNWK) and IBM (IBM) unit Lotus Development Corp., a messaging and collaborative software specialist, agreed to market RealNetworks latest video player product, RealSystem G2, to roughly 25 million corporate users of Lotus Notes software

Shares of RealNetworks gained 6 7/8 to 33 7/8 late Monday. IBM rose 3 3/8 to 130 11/16.

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RealNetworks (RNWK)
The deal is seen as evidence that RealNetworks is outflanking rival Microsoft (MSFT) as the Internet becomes more widely used for video and sound transmission. Microsoft rose 3 to 99 7/8 amid a tech rally in the U.S. stock market Monday.

In a press release to announce the deal, the companies drew praise from 3Com (COMS) and Chase bank (CHB), corporate customers.

"3Com has been successfully using streaming media to deliver business-critical information from our executives to our entire dispersed workforce of over 10,000 employees," Tom Thomas, chief information officer of 3Com, said in a statement. "We look forward to this integrated solution from Lotus and RealNetworks because it will make it far easier to implement a wide array of new applications for business communications within our company."

Written By Steve Gelsi, CBS MarketWatch