RealTime IT News

Compaq Buys Shopping.com for $220 Million

Compaq Computer Corp. Monday announced it will acquire e-tailer Shopping.com in what it describes as a move to leverage user traffic derived from its AltaVista search engine.

Compaq will acquire all of the outstanding shares of Shopping.com for $19 per share in cash, which roughly amounts to $220 million. The board and management of Shopping.com have unanimously approved the acquisition and will recommend shareholder acceptance.

According to Compaq, the increased traffic from AltaVista and Compaq Internet PCs will speed Shopping.com's reach more effectively than through a stand alone e-commerce concern. In addition, consumer purchasing data obtained via Shopping.com will enable AltaVista to organize pertinent content and information for users based on buyer habits.

Shopping.com offers 2 million name brand products through more than 1,000 merchandising partners. Customers can also earn purchase points through a rewards program.

Today's news comes on the heels of last week's announcement of a management shake-up, following customers complaints of inaccurate credit card charges, connection problems and shipping delays.

"The Internet is fast becoming a transaction medium in addition to a content medium. Today, AltaVista becomes the first site to fully combine these two capabilities into one synergistic user experience," said Rod Schrock, Compaq's senior vice president and group general manager of the company's consumer products unit.

"Our intent is to make AltaVista the leading guide for both information and e-commerce on the Internet."

Compaq entered into a stockholder agreement with certain shareholders who collectively hold a 27 percent in Shopping.com.

For the deal to close, Compaq must receivee at least 90 percent of the issued and outstanding shares of common stock of Shopping.com.