AT&T

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agreed to buy closely held applications service provider USinternetworking in a deal AT&T valued at $300 million in cash and assumed debt.

San Antonio, Texas-based AT&T said the deal will close in the fourth quarter and enhance its business offerings.

The deal "strategically aligns USi's software and eBusiness management services and consulting expertise with AT&T's existing portfolio of enterprise hosting and managed services," AT&T said. "These value-added growth services and capabilities are in high demand by companies that are increasingly using enterprisewide software applications to reduce costs, while looking for the expertise of a hosting and applications management provider that can help them deliver consistent solutions at scale and globally."