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Netscape to Buy Web Services Company

Netscape Communications Corp. is buying Web services company AtWeb Inc. to expand the range of services offered to small businesses and Web publishers on its Netcenter portal.

Terms of the deal, announced late Wednesday, were not disclosed.

Netscape said the acquisition will enable it to offer online publishers an integrated suite of online products and services on Netcenter. The company said it will expand its Netcenter services to make it easy for Web publishers to automate site promotion, maintenance and communication. The deal will fold more than 600,000 Web sites into Netcenter.

Mike Homer, executive vice president and general manager of Netscape's Netcenter, said the deal expands Netcenter into a network linking individuals and businesses worldwide.

"With the integration of AtWeb technology and services, Netcenter will be able to further empower small businesses and independent Web publishers with the tools they need to create the most effective Web presence possible," he said.

Gautam Godhwani, AtWeb's chief executive officer, said the combined company will advance the company's current and future product offerings.

"Joining Netscape provides AtWeb with an opportunity to further our commitment to provide leading Web site tools and services and to broaden our services through integration with Netcenter," he said.

Web sites that sign up through AtWeb's !Register it! service will be automatically enrolled into Necenter and linked with several Netcenter services including Smart Browsing, a keyword search function in Netscape's browser. The sites will also be listed in Netscape's search and directory services.

Netscape will incorporate AtWeb's tools such as the marketing tool Web Site Post Office and Web Site Garage, which provides diagnostic information. The new features should be available by year's end.

Netscape also plans to gradually expand AtWeb's product line to include an e-commerce affiliate program and an ad banner exchange.



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