The acquisition combines the interactive advertising technology of Zulu subsidiary echoMedia Technology with Softbank's Internet advertising sales, sponsorship and promotional expertise.
Separately, Softbank Holdings will take a minority equity investment in GeoCities, a Web site hosting community, it was announced Jan. 5. Search engine Yahoo! also announced that it is taking a $5 million minority investment in GeoCities and signing an exclusive distribution agreement with the site.
The deal expands the free offerings by Yahoo! and GeoCities, giving Yahoo! users free personal home page service from GeoCities. Meanwhile, Yahoo! will exclusively provide free services including a navigational guide, chat, e-mail, message boards, financial portfolios, classifieds and My Yahoo!.
The announcement comes less than a week after Microsoft Corp. announced it is acquiring free, Web-based e-mail provider Hotmail, which has 9 million active users.
Copyright January 1998, Crain Communications Inc.