At Home Network, a high speed Internet service targeted at cable TV subscribers, is expected to announce today that it has acquired Internet search company Excite for a staggering $6 billion.
If the deal is completed it will be one of the biggest Internet company mergers to date, with the price a significant premium over Excite?s market value of $3.5 billion. The previous biggest was late last year, when America Online paid $4.2 billion for Netscape.
Neither company would comment on the deal.
At Home would give Excite access to leading edge technology and hefty financial backing against its competitors AOL and Yahoo. Meanwhile, At Home would get access to millions of Excite users who are potential customers for its cable based Internet access services.
The speculated deal is another in a series of moves by Internet players and telecommunications companies to position themselves for the forecast tidal wave of Internet development based on high speed cable and phone links.
The deal would also strengthen AT&T?s position, which has an acqusition pending for Tele-Communications - At Home?s major shareholder.
It is believed that both Yahoo and Microsoft also showed interest in acquiring Excite over the past few weeks.
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