Lycos to buy Gamesville.com for $207 mil

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Lycos announced Nov. 23 it will acquire Gamesville.com, a free game Web site, for $207 million. The deal, which is expected to be completed before year's end, will add 2.2 million registered users to the Lycos group, increase the time customers spend on a Lycos site by 20% and help the company expand its presence in the online games market, said Lycos President-CEO Bob Davis.

In addition to providing visitors with an opportunity to win cash prizes by competing in TV-style game shows ranging from bingo to auto racing, Watertown, Mass.-based Gamesville serves as a direct marketer providing targeted advertisements and e-mail offers to users who must fill out a detailed registration form in order to play games. "The complete direct marketing database technology will become an important component of what Lycos offers," Mr. Davis said. Steven Kane, founder and CEO of Gamesville.com, will become general manager of gaming for Lycos once the deal, which includes acquisition of Gamesville's stock option plan, is complete. The 70-person company, which has received $15 million in venture capital funds over the past four years, is expected to have $25 million in revenues this year and is profitable, Mr. Davis said.

Copyright November 1999, Crain Communications Inc.

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