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Death of a deal – Lycos and USAi come clean

Ecommerce mega deal comes to naught and don’t forget you saw it here first

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The party’s over - and not before time. Lycos and USA Networks (USAi) have finally come clean and admitted that their ill-fated plan to merge has been killed off. US cable news station CNBC broke the news and an official statement was released this afternoon. The statement said: "Lycos, USA Networks and Ticketmaster Online-CitySearch (TMCS), today jointly announced that they have agreed by mutual consent to terminate their merger agreement." It went on: "The termination agreement requires Lycos to pay USAi and TMCS an aggregate of $35 million under certain circumstances if prior to July 15, 1999 Lycos enters into an agreement with respect to, or becomes subject to, certain acquisition proposals. In addition, subject to certain exceptions, USAi and TMCS each has agreed that until July 15, 1999, it will not acquire Lycos stock or make any proposals to acquire Lycos." The $18 billion deal would have created an ecommerce giant, but it never won the hearts and minds of Lycos’ shareholders. It was this shareholder pressure that has been blamed for the deal’s demise. Online newswire service Bloomberg quoted Lycos CEO Robert Davis, from the CNBC report: "Yeah, I'm disappointed in how it went," he said. "I believe in the value of the transaction. Since the very first day we put it together, we've been fighting the tape." Back in February, The Register ran a story that said - categorically - that the sickly looking deal had turned blue and died. That story created such a brouhaha that Lycos’ head of marketing took time out of her busy schedule to call our journalistic standards ‘lacking in integrity’ and to describe the story as ‘erroneous and irresponsible.’ We are looking forward to her calling back now to tell us what a good job we do. But we ain’t holding our breath. ® See earlier stories: More woes for Lycos/USA Networks deal Lycos/USA Networks deal in limbo, VP says Lycos/USA Networks deal hits more stormy weather Lycos/USA Networks merger collapses

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