Akamai Technologies, of Cambridge, Mass., has agreed to acquire Netli, a Mountain View, Calif., company that provides businesses with a content delivery technology.

The purchase will be made with 3.2 million shares of Akamai common stock, which is worth about $180 million today. Netli lets users speed up transmission of their content with its own protocol and by shifting bandwidth and storage needs within its own infrastructure. It is expected to help Akamai accelerate its own content delivery network, the nation’s largest.

According to a Gartner report cited by the companies, the market for application acceleration spending by companies is forecasted to grow to $3.3 billion in 2010, at a 15.6 percent compounded annual growth rate.

From the statement:

Akamai and Netli’s combined managed services will seek to address two important market segments identified by industry analysts • application delivery controllers and WAN optimization controllers.

Netli had raised about $47 million from a series of investors, including Alta Partners, Bessemer Venture Partners, BlueRun Ventures, Granite Global Ventures, Leapfrog Ventures, Morgenthaler Ventures and Reed Elsevier Ventures.

Originally posted 2/5/07