USA Networks Fetches Lycos Web Portal

For anyone who uses Lycos to "go get it," there's going to be some new tricks that dog will be able to do.

USA Networks Inc., Lycos Inc. and Ticketmaster Online-Citysearch Inc. announced today definitive agreements to combine USAi's e-commerce and Internet assets with Lycos. Under the agreements, TMCS and Lycos will merge, USAi will contribute Home Shopping Network, Ticketmaster and Internet Shopping Network/First Auction to the venture and the combined company will be renamed USA/Lycos Interactive Networks Inc.

USA/Lycos expect it will have at its inception, on an historical pro forma basis, combined revenue of more than $1.5 billion, significant operating cash flow, and a profit before goodwill amortization. On the first hour of the first day, USA/Lycos will have the immediate capacity to reach 70 million television homes, take more than 1 million transactional phone calls and ship more than 200,000 units each day.

On the Internet, USA/Lycos hope to reach approximately 30 million people, nearly 50 percent of all users, through its network of Web sites. The company will operate four of the top 20 Web sites with Lycos, Tripod, Hotbot and Angelfire and a network of 19 online city guides. USA/Lycos will combine Lycos with TMCS. The new company will include the substantial electronic commerce infrastructure of HSN, which uses electronic retailing through television, and Ticketmaster the largest ticketing company in the nation.

USA/Lycos will have a significant relationship with USAi, which will bring promotional opportunities across USAi's broadcasting and cable assets, which reach 90 percent of U.S. TV-viewing households and include The USA Network, The Sci-Fi Channel, Studios USA and USA Broadcasting. The Company will also benefit from the strength of the Lycos Network to circulate traffic on the Web to all its properties. In addition USA/Lycos advertisers and commerce allies will benefit from access to TV, online and Ticketmaster outlets, creating new advertising, commerce and promotional opportunities for the company.

The transaction is subject to receipt of regulatory approvals, including Lycos shareholder approval. Lycos' largest shareholder, CMG Information Services, which owns approximately 20 percent of the outstanding shares of Lycos, has advised that it is fully supportive of the transaction. The transaction is expected to be completed in the second quarter of 1999. -- Brian Ploskina, Assistant Editor

About the Author

Scott Bekker is editor in chief of Redmond Channel Partner magazine.

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