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Lycos/USA Networks merger collapses

Investor unrest cited as possible cause

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The proposed buyout of Lycos by USA Networks has been called off, The Register can exclusively reveal. Sources close to the deal confirmed that the paperwork surrounding the proposed buy-out had been ripped up and thrown in the bin even before the ink was dry. Neither company was prepared to comment the news that the deal had been called off. Yesterday, both parties said the deal was moving ahead (see Lycos merger to form e-commerce giant). But soon after, CMGI, a major stockholder of Lycos, said it was "generally supportive of the Lycos/USA Networks transaction as previously reported, but reserves the right to reassess its position as developments unfold". Shares in Lycos plummeted $33 on Tuesday after the deal was announced. It lost a further $7 on Wednesday but rebounded yesterday by $16 to close at $103.25. ®

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