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Lycos merger to form e-commerce giant

Deal with USA Networks gives portal access to global communities

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The diversified US media company, USA Networks, is to acquire Lycos, The Register can confirm. The new company, USA/Lycos, will be one of the largest e-commerce groups in the world and the only global Internet portal with local content, auctions and a direct commerce business, the company said. On the Internet, USA/Lycos will reach around 30 million people through its network of Web sites and will have interests or holdings in Canada, Mexico, South America, Asia, Europe and Australia. The new company will rely heavily on the e-commerce infrastructure of the Home Shopping Network, the electronic television retailer and Ticketmaster, the ticketing company. Barry Diller, chairman and CEO of USA Networks, will become the chairman of USA/Lycos. Robert Davis, president and CEO of Lycos, will become president and CEO of the new Company and will join its board of directors. "This places all the necessary ingredients for electronic information and commerce, from 'old' soup to 'new' nuts, into one centrally and aggressively managed enterprise," said Diller. "There is no excuse now for us not to be a dominant player as the world continues its transition towards interactive systems." According to Davis, Lycos has not only survived the portal wars, it has now vaulted past its competition and dwarfed them in revenue, earnings and cash flow. "Our combination of commerce, global and localised content and community delivers unprecedented value to consumers, advertisers and commerce partners in a way no other entity can," he said. Although subject to regulatory approval, the deal is scheduled to be completed by Q2 1999. ®

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