The ever-acquisitive Symantec is to buy anti-malware vendor PC Tools, taking another prominent independent out of circulation.

The deal to buy the privately-held Australian vendor has yet to be finalised, and the price announced, but is reported to be set to complete by the end of the year.

PC Tools sells a number of products for consumers and small businesses, including several – Spyware Doctor, PC Tools Anti-Virus and PC Tools Internet Security - that overlap heavily with products sold by Symantec. The fate of these products has yet to be made clear, though Symantec has said that the brand and company will continue as a separate division, with current PC Tools CEO, Simon Clausen, at its head.

"The combination of our two companies will provide additional value and choice for consumers worldwide to better enable and protect their digital life," Symantec’s Janice Chaffin said, giving away nothing.

“By adding PC Tools, we build on the market-leading success of Symantec’s consumer offerings and firmly position ourselves for continued incremental growth in a rapidly expanding market," she said.

Symantec has been a steady if cautious buyer of other security companies, with its most recent buy happening only days ago, when it bought virtualisation security company,"> nSuite . Other security buys include endpoint company "> Sygate Technologies , in 2005, and last November’s acquisition of leak prevention outfit,"> Vontu .