Yahoo! swoops on GeoCities

The eyes have it in deal for virtual bums on seats

Yahoo! has confirmed it is to buy the Web company GeoCities in move that will create the world's largest online community. The news ends speculation that the two were holding secret talks and is yet further evidence of the frenetic activity currently being witnessed among Internet companies. Speaking to analysts earlier today, Tim Koogle, chairman and CEO of Yahoo!, said: "This is a substantial and strategic acquisition that will culminate in a powerful and complementary alliance. "Through this acquisition, we are accelerating our global leadership position by combining two of the Web's strongest brands and most heavily used services into one powerful offering." With more than 3.5 million sites and a user base of more than 19 million people, GeoCities has built up one of the Web's largest online communities. According to Nick Gibson, an analyst at Durlacher, the deal is all about being able to say who has the largest user base. "It's all about eyeballs," he said. "The more eyeballs they have staring at their pages the more revenue they can get from advertising." ®

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