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Shiver me timbers! It's no secret that cyber-darlings are turbulently bobbing along in the market's salty waters of late. But there are scattered reports from the crow's nest that a handful of online vessels have recently encountered the ill-fated Flying Dutchman.

According to legend, ill fortune will befall any crew that should encounter the cursed ghost ship. Swashbuckling pirates wont sail her, and traders refuse to deal in its wares. Captain of the SS Peapod (PPOD) was the first to stumble upon the Dutchman before tragically taking on water off the shores of Wall Street. Seafaring drkoop.com (KOOP) put up a valiant struggle before succumbing to the same fate.

In the old days, seamen took to nailing horseshoes to their masts, which are said to bring luck, in an effort to protect themselves against the ghost ship encounter. Similarly today, Internet companies find themselves frequently scrambling toward consolidation through merger or acquisition, in an effort to stave off untimely demise.

Safety in numbers has been the pervasive theme on the Street, with nearly $50 billion in iM&A deals during 1999, and upwards of $200 billion expected to take place through the new year. 2000 is already off to a brisk start, so let's take a glimpse at a handful of last week's Web notables and see how they break down.

DealTracker Highlights

OpenTV (OPTV) announced plans to acquire software developer Spyglass (SPYG) in an all-stock deal valued at roughly $2.5 billion. The acquisition allows the digital interactive TV firm to expand beyond television and into the nascent wireless market. It will also provide access to Spyglass' technology that reformats standard Internet content to display on set-top boxes, better positioning OpenTV in the interactive TV war.

Most will remember Spyglass for its Mosaic Web browser that now sits collecting dust somewhere in the Smithsonian. But Spyglass is no creampuff, posting a respectable $29.6 million in revenues last year, edging out OpenTV's $26 million. OpenTV thinks it's high time to dust off Spyglass' browser expertise and charge arm-in-arm into the wild wireless Web. Shares of OpenTV plunged 31 percent for the week on news of the deal, while Spyglass sank 6 percent.

DealTracker scorecard: OpenTV/Spyglass

Investor sentiment B-
Terms of the deal B+
Industry outlook A-
Overall scorecard B+

B2B med-supply company Neoforma.com (NEOF) unv