October 16, 1997 9:45 AM PDT

Excite to buy NetBot

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Internet media company Excite (XCIT) today said it will buy Net shopping technology maker NetBot in a $35 million stock deal.

The Redwood City, California-based company said it will integrate NetBot's intelligent shopping technology, Jango, into its Excite Shopping channel to give users a resource for finding, evaluating and purchasing online.

Under the terms of the agreement Excite will exchange Excite common stock valued at $35 million for control of NetBot. The shareholders and board of directors of both companies have approved the deal. The acquisition is subject to certain conditions, including the execution of a definitive agreement and obtaining necessary accounting and regulatory approvals, the company said.

Today's announcement comes a day after Excite and Intuit (INTU) unveiled the first fruits of their seven-year partnership -- a new business and investing channel on Excite.

That site, dubbed "Excite Business & Investing by Quicken.com," replaces the current business and investing channel and promises to offer broad-based services to everyone from the common working person who wonders how she'll afford car payments to the multi-millionaire with a large portfolio to invest.

And in June, Intuit, which produces the popular financial program Quicken, forked over $40 million for a 19 percent stake in Excite. At the time the two also inked a seven-year partnership.

The competition among comprehensive Web sites that want to become users' home page is fierce and getting more intense every day. Search engine sites are natural home bases, as most people are attempting to organize the massive amount of information on the Web. To lure users, companies are rushing to line up the best-known and most powerful partners.

Also this summer, Excite announced a deal with Ticketmaster to provide direct online ticketing and live event information. That made Excite the first navigation firm to offer Ticketmaster event listings online and to offer direct online access to ticketing with a credit card.

Excite said its Netbot will allow customers to obtain information needed to make purchases online. And it will give online retailers a larger Internet shopping audience.

"Excite is aggressively expanding its efforts in electronic commerce. We intend to create the best shopping environment for consumers and retailers on the Internet," said George Bell, president and CEO of Excite in a statement. "This acquisition strengthens Excite's personalized online service by building on our core expertise in search, and expanding the value-added services of the Excite Shopping channel?"

 

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