citrix.jpgYou’ve probably heard by now about eBay’s move to acquire Shopping.com, announced today. But the Silicon Valley Merger Mania continues. We at SiliconBeat just returned from prolonged vacation today, and an exclusive fell into our laps: Citrix, the Florida company that allows customers to access company information from various devices and locations, has acquired San Jose’s Netscaler for $326 million.

(Thurs. update: Here’s full story in today’s Mercury News. Or here.)

Netscaler speeds up the ability of customers like MySpace, Friendster, Zappos — you name the fast-growing company — to deliver their applications to end users. The acquisition means venture investors like Sequoia and Gabriel have hit a solid double with Netscaler (investors have pumped in $80 million since 1998).

netscaler.gifIt has been a long road for Netscaler, which almost closed its doors in 2002, when its original product was spurned by companies who were choking with excess capacity after the bubble burst, and so didn’t need to boost their application delivery.

The deal also allows Citrix to enter Silicon Valley in a big way, beefing up its local arsenal of talent, as it moves to compete against valley companies like Juniper and Cisco. Citrix picks up Netscaler’s 200 employees, half of them here in the valley, half in India. Silicon Valley companies, it seems, are getting gobbled up left and right. The deal follows Juniper’s $469 million combined acquisition of Redline Networks and Peribit, announced April 26, to access similar technology, and Cisco’s move last week to buy FineGround networks for $70 million, which offers a “compression” technology similar to Netscaler’s.

Update II: Here’s the announcement.

More from Om (we’re linking because he understands this area much better than we do, and sums the deal up nicely, not because of the praise — though we’re grateful!)