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InfoSpace Acquires Portal

Internet portal provider InfoSpace Inc. Thursday bought Go2Net, Inc. for about $4 billion in stock.

InfoSpace plans to offer interactive gaming and increase its e-commerce offerings with the acquisition.

InfoSpace made the announcement in tandem with its second quarter results, which reported a pro forma net loss of $3.3 million or one cent per share for the second quarter.

Terms of the agreement requires that InfoSpace issues 1.82 shares of its common stock for each Go2Net common stock. The transaction has been approved by the board of directors from both companies and waits on shareholder approval. The merger is expected to be complete by the end of the year.

Paul Allen, whose Vulcan Ventures has a 30 percent stake in Go2Net, said the merger is a good fit for both companies.

"I originally invested in Go2Net because they offer superior technology and share my vision for the broadband world," Allen said. "Combining these companies will create an unparalleled cross-platform infrastructure company. We consider this to be very strategic to our overall vision for the wired world, and look forward to a mutually beneficial long-term relationship."

Arun Sarin, InfoSpace chief executive officer, said the two announcements mark a turning point in the company's operations, allowing broadband and narrowband applications in today's rapidly converging market.

"Today marks another historic milestone in the history of the rapid evolution of InfoSpace," Sarin said. InfoSpace turns in another record quarter of rapid growth and announces the merging of two powerful entities to create the premier global company delivering the services that are fundamentally changing how people around the world communicate, access information, conduct commerce and manage their lives across rapidly converging media platforms such as wireless, DSL and broadband."

InfoSpace has spent the past few weeks signing lucrative wireless portal deals with Verizon Communications and SBC Wireless .

The company already has a signed relationship with AT&T Wireless and ALLTEL Corp. .

Customers using digital phones will access the Internet through the transparent InfoSpace homepage specifically branded for each the phone company.