At Home Network has announced a merger agreement with Excite in an all stock transaction valued at around $6.7 billion.
The merger will bring together At Home?s broadband capability and cable distribution, which boasts nearly 60 million homes worldwide, with Excite?s Web portal and 20 million registered users. Their combined strength will provide a major challenge for Excite?s competitors, Yahoo and America Online, according to analysts.
The companies claim they will bring consumers the most personalised, open Internet services available at any speed, at any time and on any device.
Under the agreement, At Home Network will issue 1.04661 shares of At Home common stock for each share of Excite stock. The merger will take up to three months to complete, assuming regulatory approval. BT, which has a 50 per cent share in Excite UK, was unavailable for comment.
"By combining the ubiquitous reach of dialup access with the fast expanding footprint of broadband, consumers will be able to seamlessly migrate between services at different speeds and devices with a consistent interface," said Tom Jermoluk, chief executive of At Home Network.
George Bell, chief executive of Excite, believes the merger will be a boon to advertisers.
"This combination brings to advertisers the most powerful interactive marketing solutions available - the ability to target, measure, and report their advertising in a single, unified venue across narrowband, broadband, and ultimately all devices,? he said.
AT&T, which will become a major shareholder in At Home Network following its pending acquisition of Tele-Communcations, said the merger will, ?mark a new era of open choice and capability for consumers."
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