SOFTWARE MERGERS: Vignette Corp., which makes customer service software, agreed to buy OnDisplay Inc. for about $1.7-billion in stock. OnDisplay's software lets suppliers and distributors exchange information on the Internet. Neither company is profitable, though their sales have benefited as businesses race to set up and expand Web operations. Vignette had 1999 sales of $89.2-million; OnDisplay had $11.1-million. Also, WebMethods Inc. has agreed to acquire Active Software Inc. for about $1.3-billion in stock, uniting two fast-growing players in the enterprise-software market. Active Software shareholders will end up with about 28 percent of the combined company, which is expected to be called WebMethods. With the acquisition, WebMethods hopes to simplify the sales process and be a single provider of integration programs for customers' internal corporate networks and the Internet.
MICROSOFT FILES NEW BRIEF: Microsoft Corp. filed an unexpected brief in its antitrust case that contends the government argued against breakup in a previous case against the company. Microsoft quoted from a Justice Department filing in a 1995 case that said in part, "such remedies would not necessarily benefit competition and would . . . act against the public." Last month, the Justice Department and 17 of the 19 states involved in the case filed a proposal to break Microsoft into two parts.