CBS Buys $42 Million Stake in Office.com
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Diving deeper into the Internet pool, CBS Corp. announced Thursday it will acquire a one-third equity stake in WinStar Communications, Inc's. Office.com in exchange for $42 million of promotion and advertising.
Terms of the deal call for Office.com to receive the money across a six-year span throughout various CBS properties, which include radio subsidiary, Infinity Broadcasting Corp. Access to the sales force of CBS PLUS, the CBS cross-media sales group, is also included in the deal.
WinStar pre-launched Office.com in August 1998 when it began supplying editorial content and business tools to Yahoo! Small Business. The full-scale launch of Office.com is scheduled for the third quarter 1999.
With the full roll-out, Office.com users will be able to access integrated content, commerce and communications tools. In addition, analysis of business trends and strategies, forums with business leaders, and other relevant marketing, legal and technical information will also be provided.
"Along with our planned investment in storerunner.com, this represents our second entry into the world of electronic commerce. We believe Office.com will be a key business-to-business destination, with appeal to small- and medium-sized enterprises, online customers and advertisers on both a local and national level," Karmazin said.
CBS recently announced letters of intent to exchange promotion and advertising for equity in two online services, hollywood.com, a film industry Web site, and storerunner.com, an online shopping mall. CBS and subsidiary, Infinity Broadcasting, plan to hold 35 percent in hollywood.com, 50 percent of storerunner.com and 33.3 percent of Office.com.
Currently CBS holds investments of 20 percent in SportsLine USA, Inc. and 38 percent in MarketWatch.com, Inc. The market value of CBS's investments in these companies exceeds half a billion dollars.