Yahoo?s takeover of GeoCities is likely to spur other Internet companies to go on a spending spree for Web page providers, according to industry watchers.
The portal site supplier will gain 3.5 million users with personal Web pages by acquiring GeoCities, which is a sizeable Web community to add to its existing customer base. Web page providers are ripe for takeover at the moment as they battle to survive in a cut throat market that depends on advertising revenue and the number of visitors they can attract.
So who will be next? If Wall Street can be relied upon, it will be the globe.com and Xoom.com. Both firms? share prices surged on the news of the GeoCities purchase, and GeoCities has already confirmed that it is discussing "strategic partnerships".
First in line could well be Infoseek, which operates Go Network as a joint venture with Walt Disney and Cnet. Its Snap directory is also co owned by General Electric, and so, with such heavyweight backers, it is not short of acquisition funds.
But potential buyers of Web page providers will have to dig deep into their pockets in the current climate.
Yahoo has agreed to $3.6 billion for GeoCities, although Lycos took over Web page provider, Tripod, for a mere $58 million only last year.
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