'Macrodobe' Merger Clears DOJ Hurdle

Pending approval in a few European jurisdictions, the $3.4 billion deal is expected to close this fall, Adobe said.

Adobe, San Jose, Calif., and Macromedia, San Francisco, announced their merger plan in April and shareholders approved it in August.

Both companies field strong entries in content creation and display. Adobe's Acrobat is the de facto standard document reader, PhotoShop is the perennial leader in professional photo editing, Illustrator is big in graphics, and InDesign is making strides in professional publishing/page layout. Macromedia's Flash player is on more than 90 percent of Web-connected computer devices and a growing number of handhelds, its Dreamweaver is a leader in Web site development and its Flex product is a power in rich application development.

The combined company, dubbed "Macrodobe" by some, could form a significant counterweight to Microsoft in graphics and development tools, a fact that is apparently clear to the Redmond, Wash., software giant.

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Microsoft is building competitors in virtually all of the categories where Macromedia and Adobe play. But it has also caved in to pressure and said that Office 12 will support Adobe's popular PDF (Portable Document Format), something the company had not addressed before.