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Excite to buy Netbot in

e-commerce power play

Excite announced last week that it plans to buy Netbot for $35 million of Excite common stock. The search engine plans on incorporating Netbot's personal shopper software Jango, which allows users to search multiple sites for bargains, into the Excite Shopping channel.

Excite also launched a co-branded site with Intuit called Excite Business & Investing by Quicken.com (http://quicken.


Prior to launch, the site had $10 million in upfront commitments from major online brokerage companies, which include Charles Schwab & C0., Datek Securities' Datek Online, E Trade and Ameritrade.

CompuServe takes

giant Web step

CompuServe Corp. introduced its Web service last week, leveraging its popular Forum discussion groups. Called C from CompuServe, the service will be available free to guests and members; subscribers will pay about $8 for in-depth content and interactive features.

With a minimum of 500 Forums on the site when it launches in the U.S. and Canada in late December, C (www.compuserve.

com) will be among the top five trafficked sites on the Web, estimates Sam Uretsky, VP-business management for CSi, CompuServe's online service.

The new site will also offer an enhanced communications package of integrated fax, e-mail, voicemail and pager services.

PointCast opens

Japanese service

Leading push company PointCast announces today that it's launching a beta version of the PointCast Business Network in Japan. PointCast Japan is a joint venture between PointCast and Trans Cosmos, a local information technology company. Advertising for the service, which will feature local content, will be sold by PointCast Japan.

WhoWhere? gobbles up

home pages site

Directory and free e-mail service provider WhoWhere? (www.whowhere.com) is set to announce its purchase of Angelfire Communications, a free home pages site (www.angelfire.com) with 600,000 registered users. Angelfire was the third most visited personal home pages site, behind GeoCities and Tripod, according to Relevant Knowledge.

In other news

AOL Networks and Netscape Communications Corp. are set to release a co-branded instant real-time messaging product called Netscape's AOL Instant Messenger. The service will allow Internet users to receive personal messages from a pool of selected friends connected to the service, similar to a "buddy list" feature currently employed on America Online. Netscape hopes to make the product available before yearend. . . . In a related deal, AOL Studios announced its Greenhouse Networks would provide content to Netscape's Netcaster "push" service. The content includes Hecklers Online, The Hub and Extreme Fans. . . . Leading Web retailer CDnow (www.cdnow.com) announced last week that it was filing a registration statement with the Securities & Exchange Commission for an initial public offering of its common stock during the first quarter of 1998. Rival N2K is in the process of filing an IPO. . . . Chat service Talk City announces this week that it will be a featured link on AT&T's WorldNet service,

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