RealTime IT News

Lycos, Ticketmaster-Citysearch Merging

Capping off weeks of speculation, Lycos Inc. Tuesday merged with Ticketmaster Online-Citysearch to create a new venture with combined revenues of $1.5 billion.

The deal calls for Ticketmaster Citysearch and Lycos to be combined with USA Networks' Home Shopping Network and Internet Shopping Network/First Auction units to create USA/Lycos Interactive Networks Inc.

Once the deal closes, USA Networks will control 61.5 percent of the combined company, Lycos shareholders 30 percent and Ticketmaster-Citysearch shareholders 8.5 percent.

The merger still must be approved by Lycos shareholders and is expected to close in the second quarter.

Barry Diller, chairman and chief executive officer of USA Networks, will become chairman of USA/Lycos. Lycos President and Chief Executive Officer Bob Davis will become president and chief executive officer of the new company.

In addition to the search engine bearing its name, Lycos also owns Tripod, Hotbot and Angelfire.

"This places all the necessary incredients for electronic information and commerce, from 'old' soup to 'new' nuts, into one centrally and aggressively managed enterprise. There is no excuse now for us not to be a dominant player as the world continues its transition towards interactive systems," Diller said.

Davis said Lycos' acquisitions will help to make the new company a major media and global commerce force.

"Lycos has not only survived the portal wars, but with USA/Lycos we have vaulted past our competition and dwarfed them in revenue, earnings and cash flow. Our combination of commerce, global and localized content and community delivers unprecedented value to customers, advertisers and commerce partners in a way no other entity can," Davis said.