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Lycos, Dell Invest in FAST Search & Transfer

Broadening recent initiatives recognizing the growing proliferation of multimedia on the Internet, Lycos Inc. and Dell Computer Corp. Friday took a 19 percent stake in Net search company FAST Search & Transfer ASA.

Lycos plans to buy 15 percent of FAST Search & Transfer. Bob Davis, Lycos president and chief executive officer (LCOS) will join FAST's board of directors.

Dell (DELL) plans to take a 4 percent stake in Fast Search & Transfer.

FAST provides a host of search technologies to the Lycos Network, including MP3 search, multimedia search music and hosting. Lycos and FAST recently launched the Listening Room to make it possible for aspiring bands to upload their music to the Web, convert it to MP3 format, and host and maintain the audio files, for free.

In November, the companies launched Lycos' RichMedia Search, the largest multimedia database on the Web with more than 17 million files. Earlier in the year, Lycos and FAST launched Lycos' MP3 search, a goldmine of MP3 audio files, and FTP Search, the world's biggest and most popular file download site.

"FAST is powering several of our popular services, so today's announcement is a natural extension of an already successful relationship," said Davis. "By offering FAST's services to our users, Lycos continues our tradition of deploying best-of-breed technology."

"Having a major high-growth portal like Lycos as a strategic investor and a customer allows us to gain additional market insight and expose many more people to our market-leading technology," said Thomas Fussell, chairman of Fast Search & Transfer.

The Lycos and Dell investment is expected to close in January.

On Wednesday, Dell invested in PC support company All.com for an unspecified amount. Last week, Lycos agreed with auction house Skinner to launch a hybrid Web site that features fine ceramics, couture and jewelry.



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