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Healtheon/WebMD, Medtronic Seal $100 Million Alliance

Healtheon/WebMD Corp. added to its busy week Tuesday by forming a $100 million multi-year partnership with fellow online medical company Medtronic Inc. to provide consolidated medical resources for physicians and consumers.

The two companies will work together over the next four years to combine Healtheon/WebMD's (HLTH) overall healthcare information with medical technology information from Medtronic (MDT). The alliance would encompass a $50 million cash commitment by Medtronic to Healtheon/WebMD.

The two firms plan to develop an Internet platform for disseminating information on proven medical products and treatments, as well as create dedicated online health information channels for disease-focused communities. In addition, Medtronic intends to invest an additional $50 million into WebMD Europe, a company to be formed by the previously announced global joint venture between News Corp. and Healtheon/WebMD.

Medtronic provides a wide range of diagnostic and therapeutic devices and services for a range of diseases and disorders. It will also be WebMD's worldwide exclusive medical technology online and offline media sponsor and advertising partner in a variety of disease categories.

Tuesday's announcement comes on the heels of Healtheon/WebMD's purchase of Quintiles Transnational Corp.'s health care transaction branch for $2.5 billion on Monday.

"Our ground-breaking alliance with Medtronic allows Healtheon/WebMD to address the critical medical concerns of millions of consumers worldwide who are diagnosed or concerned with chronic diseases," said Jeff Arnold, chief executive officer for Healtheon/WebMD. "Our vision is to use the Internet to facilitate a better health care delivery system, and these therapeutic applications and services will provide tremendous value to our physicians and consumers."



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