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@Home Nets Narrative Communications

Making a foray into online advertising, @Home Corp. Friday acquired advertising provider Narrative Communications Corp. for $89 million.

@Home will acquire all outstanding shares and assume all outstanding options and warrants of Waltham, Mass-based Narrative in exchange for between 1.34 million and 1.55 million shares of @Home common stock.

Narrative will become the Enliven Business Unit of @Home Network. The deal is expected to be finalized later this month or early January 1999. Narratives management, employees and offices will remain largely unchanged, the company said in a statement.

Narrative's Enliven rich media advertising technology provides one-stop access to tools which create, deliver, measure, and manage interactive multimedia Web ad campaigns. Enliven's services include ad production consulting, campaign hosting, site acceptance management, consolidated campaign reporting and measurement and technical support services.

Narrative said more than 50 advertising agencies have used Enliven to create campaigns on 300 Web sites. Clients include General Motors, Hewlett Packard, IBM, Procter and Gamble, and Sprint.

The union will enable advertisers to launch large-scale, highly interactive, rich media advertising campaigns through a variety of Internet distribution platforms, such as standard dial-up, high speed (T1, ISDN), @Home broadband PC, and TV set-top connections.

Through the distribution network advertisers can employ Enliven's capabilities to produce interactive video, audio and animated ads to a broader Internet audience. Other service will include e-commerce transactions, print marketing collateral on-demand, submit lead generation information and execute database queries within the ad.

"The merger of our business with Narratives is about growth of @Home Network, growth of rich media advertising solutions for our customers, and growth of the Internet advertising market," said Charles Moldow, vice president, @Media sales and marketing for @Home Network.

"Not only do we become a one-stop-shop for interactive Web advertising campaigns across the continuum of Internet connections, well also have the ability to build more interactive multimedia effects into @Homes online publishing and advertising content," Moldow said.

"With the resources of @Home behind us, we aim to establish Enliven as the clear standard for advertising across PC, TV set-top, and consumer devices connected to the Internet," said Hilmi Ozguc, co-founder and CEO of Narrative.