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Blackboard Partners With Acxiom to Bring Enhanced Student Verification to Colleges and Universities

WASHINGTON, Jan. 29 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Blackboard Inc. (Nasdaq: BBBB), a leading provider of educational technology, announced today that it has partnered with Acxiom Risk Mitigation, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Acxiom(R) Corporation (Nasdaq: ACXM) to offer colleges and universities an enhanced solution for student identity verification.

Under the agreement, Blackboard and Acxiom will work together to improve student verification for postsecondary institutions in the United States. The partnership will enable institutions to deploy a verification program within their e-learning platform that maintains the integrity and privacy of student information.

With the partnership, Acxiom becomes a Blackboard Premier Partner(TM) in the recently launched Blackboard Alliance Program(TM), which has expanded opportunities for partners to work with Blackboard and support its user community.

"We are excited to partner with Acxiom, an industry leader with a robust solution for student verification that is based on technology that has been widely deployed in the financial services industry," said Matthew Small, Chief Business Officer at Blackboard.

As a leading member in the Blackboard Alliance Program, Acxiom joins a group of more than 2,000 commercial and academic members that have developed hundreds of different extensions that have enabled members of Blackboard's user community to customize and enhance their Blackboard(R) platform.

Acxiom's risk identity verification is widely known for authenticating online banking transactions and requires no hardware. Educational institutions using Acxiom's authentication solutions control when, where and how frequently students authenticate. Verification is performed over the Internet with no intrusion into the learning process, and it employs questions that only the student enrolled in the course is able to answer. No student information is released in the process, allowing institutions to avoid any potential issues with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).

"Higher education distance learning programs are looking for a simple and affordable solution to meet evolving integrity and verification policies," said Michael Jortberg, who leads Acxiom's initiative in the higher education market. "This effort is part of Acxiom's larger role as a leader in global identity initiatives and as a champion of consumer privacy and online safety. We look forward to working with Blackboard in this important partnership."

For more information about the Blackboard Alliance Program, please visit http://blackboard.com/Communities/Partners/Bb-Alliance-Program.aspx. For more information about Blackboard, please visit www.blackboard.com.

About Acxiom

The global leader in interactive marketing services, Acxiom connects clients with their customers through deep consumer insight, powering effective and profitable marketing initiatives and business decisions. Our consultative approach spans multiple industries and incorporates decades of experience in consumer data and analytics, information technology, data integration and consulting solutions for effective marketing across digital, Internet, email, mobile and direct mail channels. Founded in 1969, Acxiom is headquartered in Little Rock, Ark., and serves clients around the world from locations in the United States, Europe and Asia-Pacific. For more information about Acxiom, visit www.acxiom.com.

About Blackboard Inc.

Blackboard Inc. (Nasdaq: BBBB) is a global leader in enterprise technology and innovative solutions that improve the experience of millions of students and learners around the world every day. Blackboard's solutions allow thousands of higher education, K-12, professional, corporate, and government organizations to extend teaching and learning online, facilitate campus commerce and security, and communicate more effectively with their communities. Founded in 1997, Blackboard is headquartered in Washington, D.C., with offices in North America, Europe, Asia and Australia.

Any statements in this press release about future expectations, plans and prospects for Blackboard and other statements containing the words "believes," "anticipates," "plans," "expects," "will," and similar expressions, constitute forward-looking statements within the meaning of The Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Actual results may differ materially from those indicated by such forward-looking statements as a result of various important factors, including the factors discussed in the "Risk Factors" section of our Form 10-Q filed on November 6, 2008 with the SEC. In addition, the forward-looking statements included in this press release represent the Company's views as of January 29, 2009. The Company anticipates that subsequent events and developments will cause the Company's views to change. However, while the Company may elect to update these forward-looking statements at some point in the future, the Company specifically disclaims any obligation to do so. These forward-looking statements should not be relied upon as representing the Company's views as of any date subsequent to January 29, 2009.

SOURCE Blackboard Inc. 01/29/2009
CONTACT: Matthew Maurer of Blackboard Inc., 1-202-463-4860 ext. 2637,
matthew.maurer@blackboard.com; Carol Cassil, APR, Acxiom Corporation
Communications
, 1-501-252-8854,
carol.cassil@acxiom.com Web Site: http://www.blackboard.com (ACXM BBBB)