Diving deeper into the Internet pool, CBS Corp. announced Thursday it will acquire a one-third equity stake in WinStar Communications, Inc’s. Office.com in exchange for $42 million of promotion and advertising.
Terms of the deal call for Office.com to receive the money across a six-year span throughout various CBS
properties, which include radio subsidiary, Infinity
Broadcasting Corp. Access to the sales force of CBS PLUS, the CBS
cross-media sales group, is also included in the deal.
WinStar pre-launched Office.com in August 1998 when it
began supplying editorial content and business tools to Yahoo! Small Business. The
full-scale launch of Office.com is scheduled for the third quarter 1999.
With the full roll-out, Office.com users will be able to access integrated content, commerce and
communications tools. In addition, analysis of business
trends and strategies, forums with business leaders, and other relevant
marketing, legal and technical information will also be provided.
“We are pleased to add Office.com to our growing group of new media
investments. CBS will be active in all Web destinations where people can
find outabout matters of importance to them — news, entertainment, sports,
commerce and, of course, the workplace, among others,” said Mel Karmazin, President and Chief Executive Officer, CBS Corporation.
“Along with our planned investment in storerunner.com, this represents our
second entry into the world of electronic
commerce. We believe Office.com will be a key
business-to-business destination, with appeal to small- and medium-sized
enterprises, online customers and advertisers on both a local and national
level,” Karmazin said.
CBS recently announced letters of intent to exchange promotion and
advertising for equity in two online services, hollywood.com, a film
industry Web site, and storerunner.com, an online shopping mall. CBS and
Infinity Broadcasting, plan to hold 35 percent in hollywood.com, 50 percent
of storerunner.com and 33.3 percent of Office.com.
Currently CBS holds investments of 20 percent in SportsLine USA, Inc. and 38
percent in MarketWatch.com, Inc. The market value of CBS’s
investments in these companies exceeds half a billion dollars.