Forms ‘Union’ with B2B Service Provider

Internet infrastructure company, a provider of content and e-commerce services to affiliate Web sites, announced today that it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Seattle, Washington-based company offers a variety of business-to-business services and community features, including private label e-mail, address books, calendars, chat, personal home pages and message boards.

Under the terms of the deal, will exchange 450,000 shares of common stock for 100 percent of Wall Street’s initial reaction has been positive, as shares of climbed 2-5/8 to 40-3/8 in early trading today. At that stock price, the purchase is valued at more than $18 million (US$).

“Web communities are the realization of how to build relationship marketing on the Web,” said Naveen Jain, chairman and CEO of “The addition of these additional online business-to-business services, such as private label e-mail services, will help our affiliates offer users more compelling reasons to stay on their site longer and also target users for direct marketing opportunities, increasing e-commerce and advertising revenues.”

More than 1,800 Web sites are part of’s affiliate network. These affiliates include America Online, Netscape, Microsoft, Lycos, the Go Network,, DoubleClick, Network Solution, MetaCrawler, The Wall Street Journal Interactive Edition and ABC LocalNet.

Other Partners

One of’s largest partners is, an online home-improvement resource.’s network of sites include,, and is offering free personal start pages, forums, calendars, e-mail, a Web page creator and a personal content manager to visitors. is also offering similar services for financial destination site, gardening site and Safeconnect, a family-oriented Internet service provider backed by Hallmark.

More to Come may also be close to making other acquisitions. Last Tuesday, the company announced that it was in discussions to purchase online auction technology company OpenSite Technologies, which powers auctions for businesses such as Sharper Image, John Deere and Playboy.

One day later, and BellSouth announced a partnership to deliver customizable content and information during a trial run of BellSouth’s Internet-enabled cellular phones. already has agreements with other providers of Internet access devices including @Home, UnWired Planet, InfoGear, Mitel, Mitsui and Lucent Technologies.

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