Image courtesy of DTI
Document Technologies Inc. has acquired Fios Inc., thereby expanding its hosted e-discovery services, which focus on kCura Corp.'s Relativity document review software, DTI officials said today.
Atlanta-based DTI said that Fios was purchased to gain clients and staff. Based in Portland, Ore., Fios also brings software development skills and workflow expertise to the DTI portfolio.
"We felt the opportunity to bring Fios into the DTI family was quite attractive," said DTI CEO John Davenport Jr. "They have exactly what we look for an exceptional group of high-performing employees, a respected name, strong relationships with an impressive list of Am Law 100 and Fortune 500 corporate clients, and most importantly, similar values and corporate cultures."
Fios released redaction software this summer, and experienced notable executive turnover in 2011. The company was originally called Lynch Business Data, later changing its name to Fios. Later, in a dispute with Verizon Communications Inc. over who could use that moniker, it reached an agreement allowing the telecommunication giant to also use the Fios name for its high-speed internet service.
Terms of the current deal which is DTI's third this year were not disclosed. In September, DTI acquired legal staffing company Provius, based in Houston. In July, DTI bought computer forensics specialist Data Forté, of Los Angeles.
DTI has annual e-discovery revenue of more than $135 million, Davenport said. The company will continue to seek targeted acquisitions, he said, declining to elaborate. However, Fios was not included in the 2012 Gartner e-discovery report which assesses the industry's largest players.
E-discovery attorney Dean Gonsowski, who sold his consulting business to Fios in 2003 and was their corporate counsel until 2005, noted that Fios has been through ups and downs. "In 2003 Fios was the hottest game in town," and declined larger acquisition offers, he said. Fios executives did not comment on previous offers.
"When we sold the company to Fios, the notion was [that Fios would be] the next big thing. Now almost 10 years since then, they've gone through so many iterations," including management changes, selling proprietary technology versus reselling Relativity, and offering consulting, Gonsowski observed.
"This is the end of the old guard. This is the 1.0 e-discovery company," said Gonsowski, who is now senior e-discovery counsel at Symantec's Clearwell division. "They had a chance to be really big," he added. "Now they're something of a footnote."
"Although Fios has experienced its challenges over the past few years, much credit should be given to their focus on delivering comprehensive e-discovery services, from project management to some customization to the Relativity platform," said Brian Babineau, vice president of research and analyst services at Milford, Mass.-based Enterprise Strategy Group. "Going forward, it will be very interesting to see how DTI continues to position the various e-discovery technology partnerships it has engaged to its clients and how those partnerships will be segmented."