Search engine firm Lycos has signed to build an online service with AT&T over the next three years, to rival Yahoo Online.
As revealed by 'VNU Newswire' last week, Lycos plans to launch an online service soon (see Newswire 29 April). The company hopes the three-year deal with AT&T?s Worldnet Internet service provider will lead more Web traffic - and therefore more advertisers - to its pages.
Lycos chief executive Bob Davis said: "We will provide Web users with a full featured, low cost portal into the World Wide Web." Terms of the deal were not revealed but Lycos will produce a front end site, memorably called 'Lycos Online Powered by AT&T Worldnet Service', providing content, navigation and search facilities for AT&T Worldnet subscribers.
The agreement follows Yahoo?s similar contract with MCI Communications for Yahoo Online, signed in March, and related moves by Excite, Netscape Communications and America Online, as the Internet players all position themselves as Web media companies. Their front end portals to the Internet and related services are intended to win Internet traffic and advertising revenue.
Analysts said AT&T gets cheap content and Lycos gets more traffic as a result of the deal, which will eventually expand to include multimedia applications including voice activated chat groups.
Lycos bought Internet content logging company Wisewire last week for $39.8 million.
In a related story, Netscape signed Lycos rival Excite to provide a co-branded search and content channels for its Netcenter portal, launched in June. That deal ends some speculation over renegotiations surrounding Netscape?s multimillion dollar Internet traffic agreements with the major search engine companies.
Excite will sell advertising space for Netcenter and Netscape will get cash, services and content from Excite. Terms of the deal were not disclosed and the companies did not say if it was an exclusive contract.
However, they did explain the complicated division of new search traffic - searches done by visitors who have not specified a search engine. The co-branded Netscape/Excite search will get 25 per cent of new searches in the first year of Netcenter, rising to 50 per cent in year two, leaving the rest to Excite?s own search, Yahoo, Lycos and Infoseek.
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