Alta Vista set to go it alone

Compaq buys online shopping site - fuels speculation over portal sell off

Compaq's decision to buy beleaguered Shopping.com for its AltaVista Net guide only serves to fuel speculation that the world's second largest computer company is getting ready to flog the portal it acquired last year, The Register can reveal. The $220 million deal announced today would give Compaq a 90 per cent stake in Shopping.com. More importantly, it would make AltaVista even more attractive to prospective buyers since the portal would also include a major, and potentially important, revenue earner. In a pre-prepared press statement, senior Compaq executive Rod Schrock said: "Our intent is to make AltaVista the leading guide for both information and ecommerce on the Internet." And he is hoping to drive even more traffic to Shopping.com by using the AltaVista portal and Internet-enabled Compaq PCs. No one from Compaq was available for comment on rumours of the sell-off. ®

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