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CBS Acquires 20 Percent of Rx.com

CBS Corp. Thursday announced that it has taken a 20 percent stake in online drugstore Rx.com, Inc. in exchange for $37.5 million in advertising and promotion over a term of four years.

CBS followed up its newfound health care interest with the purchase of the online retail pharmacy, exactly two weeks after it took a 35 percent in medical information site Medscape.

CBS will receive warrants to purchase an additional 700,000 shares of Rx.com stock.

Rx.com currently sells over-the-counter medicines and vitamin products online, and plans offer prescription medication and health care information later this year.

"Direct-to-consumer healthcare continues to be one of the fastest growing sectors on the Internet and one of our leading advertising segments," said Mel Karmazin, CBS Corp.'s president and CEO.

"In that regard, Rx.com goes hand-in-hand with our recently announced investment in CBS Medscape.com, offering us another stake in a key Internet destination site that serves as a convenient, reliable solution to consumers' health care needs and pharmacy services."

The site will go up against drugstore.com, which has equity investments from mega e-tailer Amazon and drugstore chain Rite Aid, and planetRx.com.

CBS currently has Internet investments in SportsLine USA, Inc., MarketWatch.com, Inc., StoreRunner Inc., WinStar's Office.com Inc., ThirdAge Media, Inc., and Switchboard Inc., and deals with Medscape and hollywood.com are in the works.

It is rumored that the network is planning to pool its Internet interests in thinly veiled portal or tethered site plans dubbed the Bulldog Project.