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WebMD Sues Acquired Site

After a wave of acquisitions culminating in its Microsoft-brokered merger with Healtheon, WebMD is now suing one of its recent acquisitions, Certifiedemail.com Inc., for allegedly fixing its financial information to pose as good deal for the health care Web service.

According to published reports, Certifiedemail's founder and former president, Gary Coursey Jr., is accused of intentionally manipulating financial information provided to WebMD in the million-dollar purchase and now stands to profit from WebMD's recent acquisition of Healtheon.

WebMD bought Certifiedemail.com, which offers secure e-mail transmission services, in December. The company was launched in 1997 with an $8 million investment injection from Endeavor Technologies, which later became WebMD.

Coursey, as a shareholder in WebMD, stands to get 90,750 shares of Healtheon, worth $9.1 million on the day of the merger announcement, reports said.

According to the lawsuit, Coursey not only tricked WebMD to close the deal, but also refused to fulfill a commitment to work in WebMD's business development section. Coursey resigned over working conditions, but WebMD is challenging that as a basis for resignation in the lawsuit, according a CNET report.