Yahoo! agreed to buy streaming audio and video site Broadcast.com in an all-stock deal valued at about $5.7 billion including options. Under the terms of the deal, Yahoo! will issue 0.7722 of a share of Yahoo! stock for each share of Broadcast.com stock. All Broadcast.com options will be converted into Yahoo! options. The deal, subject to shareholder approval, is expected to close in the third quarter. The acquisition, which had been rumored for several weeks, is Yahoo!'s largest purchase to date, and gives the portal a way to offer its users and advertisers rich-media content and capabilities. Yahoo! said, on completing the merger, it would package Broadcast.com's streaming audio and video capabilities into Fusion Marketing Online. The newly formed marketing program will include multimedia advertising and Web hosting. Securing a rich-media foothold is becoming increasingly important for portals. High-speed Internet service @Home purchased Yahoo! rival Excite earlier this year.
Copyright April 1999, Crain Communications Inc.