Microsoft Corp. has agreed to sell its MSN Sidewalk to Ticketmaster Online-CitySearch in all-stock deal valued at $240 million. Under the terms of the deal, Microsoft will sell the entertainment city guide portion of MSN Sidewalk to TMCS for a 9% stake in TMCS that could go as high as 13% if Microsoft exercises warrants. Outside of USA Networks, Microsoft becomes the biggest shareholder in the company. The deal had been hinted at in a recent report from Forrester Research. Microsoft said it would focus on MSN commerce, and build out MSN Yellow Pages, MSN Buying Guides and MSN shopping services. TMCS will develop a special version of its CitySearch local arts and entertainment city guide service, which will be accessible through a new MSN local channel and through the "MSN Entertainment" channel on MSN.com. Sidewalk's reach of cities goes from 33 to 77.
Copyright July 1999, Crain Communications Inc.