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Brier Dudley offers a critical look at technology and business issues affecting the Northwest.

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March 26, 2008 10:11 AM

Vancouver dot-com snags SF startup

Posted by Brier Dudley of Vancouver, B.C., is undergoing an extreme makeover today with the acquisition of tiny San Francisco startup Auctomatic for $5 million -- $2 million cash plus $3 million in Communicate stock.

The deal marks a turning point for Communicate, which is shifting its focus from wheeling in domain names to building commerce sites and widgets, using Auctomactic technology. Auctomatic started out developing tools for eBay power sellers.

That's not all. Communicate also today announced that it's changing its name to Live Current Media.

Silicon Valley pundits were all over the press release this morning. I wonder if it's because they're enthused about Communicate or Auctomatic, or because the deal looks like a win for uber-hip startup financier Y Combinator.

Communicate/Live Current has 15 employees, including a few in Seattle. Auctomatic's five employees are going to work at the headquarters office in Vancouver.

Communicate/Live Current's over-the-counter stock is up 4 percent to $2.80 today.

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Gadgets and games | Fun stuff I've written about lately includes Apple's iPhone, Hewlett-Packard's HDX laptop and Microsoft's Halo3. Also on the radar are new digital video boxes such as the Tivo HD and the Vudu.