June 8, 2000 7:45 AM PDT

Inktomi buys search firm in $344 million deal

Web search technology company Inktomi today said it will acquire Ultraseek, a subsidiary of Walt Disney's Go.com, in a step that will add enterprise search technology to its business.

Inktomi, which also develops Web caching software, will acquire all of Ultraseek for $3.5 million in cash and $341.2 million in stock.

The acquisition will give Inktomi a foothold into providing search services for corporate use. Many Web sites and technology companies currently use Inktomi's search service, including America Online, Excite@Home, Intel, Microsoft's MSN, RealNetworks, Sun Microsystems, Yahoo and CNET, publisher of News.com.

Inktomi chief executive David Peterschmidt touted the acquisition as a new step to provide services for internal corporate use.

"Our move into the enterprise market sets the agenda for the delivery of search and navigation software for intranet and extranet sites," Peterschmidt said in a statement.

Go.com's decision to sell Ultraseek is the latest attempt by the company to focus on its consumer Web efforts. The company has struggled since it launched in January 1999 and is currently undergoing a strategic shift to focus more on producing entertainment content than trying to compete as a general-interest portal like Yahoo.

Ultraseek was initially developed by then-search engine Infoseek in 1996. Disney acquired Infoseek in 1998 and shortly thereafter launched Go.com in its bid to become a major destination for information and services on the Web.

"The divestiture of the Ultraseek enterprise business highlights Go.com's commitment to focus on and enhance its position as a leading provider of consumer entertainment, information and services on the Internet," Go.com chairman Steve Bornstein said in a statement.

 

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