Netscape clicks on search site deals

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Netscape Communications Corp. is said to have come to terms on new ad contracts with several search engines, according to executives familiar with negotiations. Netscape is expected to announce an agreement on March 18. Netscape was not available for comment at Web deadline.

Yahoo! denied a report that it is working on a $19 million agreement with Netscape that would include its taking over Destinations, a popular section on Netscape's site with links to major sites.

New contracts for search sites will kick in after deals with Netscape's five current "Preferred Provider" search engines end in the next few weeks. The five search engines a year ago agreed to pay $5 million each for links from Netscape's highly rated site. Those fees last year helped make Netscape the No. 1 advertising site on the Web.

Copyright March 1997, Crain Communications Inc.

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