Bell claimed that the company has been in talks with America Online (AOL), Yahoo! and "lots of folks about our start page," but that it had not yet worked out how to structure a deal or determine a price for a prime spot on its Web site.
According to US reports, however, Yahoo! has been talking to [email protected] for the last six weeks about acquiring it for more than its market capitalisation of about $17 billion.
The move would be a continuance of Yahoo’s current acquisition policy to round out its Internet strategy. It bought online community creator, GeoCities, in January, and audio and video provider, Broadcast.com, in April.
US reports speculated that Yahoo! might integrate Excite into the @Home spin off, which provides high speed Web access over cable. @Home acquired Excite in June in a $6.7 billion stock transaction to create [email protected]
In the midst of the rumours, [email protected], which ranks among the 10 most heavily used portals, announced a new search engine that it claims can access all of the Web's hundreds of millions of pages.
The company, which plans to launch the service in mid August, hopes it will provide consumers with more quality information than they have been able to receive to date by simplifying the search experience.
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