CMGI to buy YesMail; Wal-Mart, Kmart ink deals

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CMGI last week agreed to buy permission e-mail marketer YesMail, Vernon Hills, Ill., in a stock swap deal valued at about $500 million. YesMail has a network of 4 million e-mail subscribers and plans to move to Chicago. Wal-Mart Stores and America Online will develop co-branded, low-cost Internet service designed for Wal-Mart consumers. Wal-Mart will market the Internet service, a customized version of AOL's CompuServe, in its stores and also will distribute AOL 5.0 software that includes a link to Wal-Mart's e-commerce site, wal-mart.com. As part of the deal, Wal-Mart will promote the Internet service as well as AOL's traditional service through TV, print and radio advertising. No agency has yet been named and spending was undisclosed. The announcement follows Kmart Corp.'s debut of BlueLight.com, which will offer free Internet service. Yahoo! will provide free e-mail and other services to consumers using BlueLight's service.

Copyright December 1999, Crain Communications Inc.

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