LibertyOne Cuts Excite Ties

[Sydney, AUSTRALIA] Online auction site LibertyOne has severed final
ties with portal directoryExcite,
following a two-year effort to develop regional versions of the Excite
portal.

LibertyOne said it was not planning to exercise its option to take a 60
percent stake in an Excite Asia Pacific joint venture in a statement to
the Australian Stock Exchange on
Friday.

Instead, LibertyOne intends to focus on its business-to-business (B2B)
directions, including the development of the company’s uBid site, and a
proposed joint venture with embattled ISP eisa and Von Neumann, which
would develop, market and provide a Web platform for Monet healthcare
software and technologies.

Excite and LibertyOne joined forces at the end of 1998 with the
intention of developing localized versions of the Excite portal for
domestic and Asian markets. Following the deal, LibertyOne floated on the
ASX a month later and rolled out the Australian site in May last year.

However, the company suffered a series of management problems, and
failed in its plans to co-list on the Nasdaq, with the situation coming to
a head when the agreement between Optus and Excite’s parent company,
[email protected], to launch a local high-speed cable Net service, also fell
through.

Earlier this year, Optus took over responsibility for the local service
in a deal which gave LibertyOne three months to decide whether to invest in
a new Asian joint venture with Excite, the outcome of which was apparent
today.

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