CMGI buys AltaVista for $2.3 billion

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Internet venture capital company CMGI, Andover, Mass., is buying an 83% stake in Compaq Computer Corp.'s AltaVista Co., Palo Alto, Calif., for $2.3 billion in stock and other assets. The deal includes AltaVista and its related properties Zip2 and Shopping.com. CMGI said it plans to integrate the sites into its network of 40 Web sites, including financial site Raging Bull and online community Myfamily.com. Compaq will get a 16.4% stake in CMGI and will become CMGI's strategic IT partner, integrating its network of sites on Compaq computer desktops. This announcement comes on the heels of word that AltaVista plans to spend $100 million in advertising over the next year and a half. AltaVista is in the midst of a traditional agency review and recently launched a number of new services. CMGI said it would keep DoubleClick for ad sales, honoring a three-year contract AltaVista signed with the ad network and ad-serving company in January 1999. DoubleClick receives 43% of its annual revenue from AltaVista ad sales.

Copyright June 1999, Crain Communications Inc.

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