[email protected] Goes Shopping

[email protected] Tuesday acquired e-commerce solutions provider iMALL Inc. for $425 million and announced a partnership with First Data Corp.

[email protected] will issue approximately 8.3 million shares in exchange for all outstanding iMALL options and warrants. iMALL shareholders will receive .46 shares of [email protected] for each of their shares. The deal, which still must be approved by iMALL shareholders, is expected to close in the fourth quarter.

Once the deal closes, iMALL will become an independent subsidiary of [email protected], reporting to executives at [email protected]’s @Work division.

In related news, [email protected] also plans to team with First Data Corp. subsidiary First Data Merchant Services to help merchants quickly establish online stores and give them access to Excite’s registered users.

First Data and iMall services will be promoted on @Work, [email protected]’s business division which provides Internet access and Web hosting to corporate customers.

Merchants will use iMALL’s commerce capabilities and First Data’s electronic commerce payment solutions on stores that will be featured on the Excite Shopping Service.

George Bell, [email protected] president, said the acquisitions make [email protected] a leader in e-commerce solutions for merchants.

“The combined solution gives us critical mass to bring together online buyers and sellers with new services for our business-to-business efforts — benefitting our @Work division and business-to-consumer transactions.

“By becoming the solution for merchants, we attract thousands of stores and products that will make the Excite shopping services the best choice for consumers looking to buy online,” he said.

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