NBC BUYS NBCi AS PORTAL STRUGGLES AGAINST BIGGER RIVALS

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(April 9, 2001) -- In a move that could hardly be described as surprising, NBC has decided to ratchet down its NBCi portal property, which has struggled to gain market share against bigger rivals such as Yahoo! NBC, which held 38.6% of the publicly traded venture, is paying $2.19 for each share of the company it doesn't already own. NBCi shares closed at $1.50 on Friday.

NBC has attempted a variety of strategies for its principal Internet property in recent years. The decision to create a spin-off unit -- NBCi -- came in 1999 when the company combined its XOOM.com property and its Snap.com property, a portal service that had originally been started by CNET with some other NBC Web sites. However, despite heavy promotion touting the ubiquity of NBC in other media, NBCi never caught sufficient traction with consumers. -- Catharine P. Taylor

Copyright April 2001, Crain Communications Inc.

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