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Blackboard buys Baltimore's Moodlerooms

Blackboard Inc., a major provider of Internet-based education software based in Washington, on Monday acquired a small Baltimore-based competitor to stake its claim in the open source software technology.

Blackboard bought Moodlerooms Inc., which has 82 employees in Baltimore, for an undisclosed amount, and said it intends to allow the company to operate independently. As part of the same announcement, Blackboard said it acquired NetSpot, another competitor in Australia that also uses a similar open-source technology platform as Moodlerooms

Blackboard, a privately held company founded in 1997, licenses commercial software used by schools, companies and government agencies for online learning and organization. It has over 9,000 customers worldwide. The company has also seen the rise of upstart competitors, such as Moodlerooms, that champion a lower-cost open source model, which allows for the technology to evolve with input from a worldwide community of developers.

Blackboard said Moodlerooms, founded in 2005, will become part of its new "education open source services group," which will support and develop open source learning technologies globally.

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