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BT LookSmart has ceased to be

JV no longer joint. Or venture

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BT LookSmart, the search engine JV between -y ou can work it out for yourself - is to be dissolved. BT is to get $3.5m in cash and one million shares in LookSmart. It will also receive $1m set aside for funding the JV. The two companies will share restructuring costs equally.

LookSmart will now take the helm in the UK and Japan, the two countries where BT LookSmart operated. It wil also incorporate "parts" of BT LookSmart into core operations. It says it emerges from the restructure "substantially debt-free".

In July, BT LookSmart bought UK Plus, a search engine developed by Associated New Media for an undisclosed but probably paltry sum.

Set up in 1999 BT LookSmart was supposed to be a $200m JV. If BT did sink $100m into the venture, it got well and truly sunk. Three years on, the company must be wondering how it ever allowed itself to be suckered into the search engine business in the first place. ®

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