The Associated Press August 2, 2011, 12:13PM ET

EarthLink buys IT services firm Business Vitals

Internet provider EarthLink Inc. said on Tuesday that it had bought information technology services provider Business Vitals for an undisclosed amount.

Business Vitals helps companies protect their data by securing email, investigating computer viruses, storing information, retrieving lost data and other services.

Business Vitals, which is based in Columbia, S.C., provides services to clients in 10 countries.

EarthLink is dealing with a dwindling base of dial-up Internet subscribers as more people switch to higher-speed access. The Atlanta company's purchase of Business Vitals is the latest of several acquisitions aimed at broadening its services for business customers.

EarthLink said the purchase of Business Vitals would complement its recently launched cloud-computing division.

Cloud computing allows storage of data and programs on the Internet.

EarthLink shares fell 1 cent to $8.09 in midday trading.

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