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Excite confirms Throw purchase

The company acquires privately held Throw, which later this year will allow it to join other Net directories in offering an online community product.

Excite confirmed that it has acquired privately held Throw, which later this year will allow it to join other Internet directories in offering an online community product.

Past regulatory filings by Excite referred to an acquisition of a small company that was not identified. Some analysts had speculated, however, that the company was Throw. An Excite spokeswoman confirmed today that it is in fact Throw, based in Seattle.

Throw plans to launch a product called Instant Online later this year. "Coming soon: Instant Online: Your Personal Online Service," Throw's Web site promises.

Such software typically includes features such as chat rooms, home pages, and calendars for users. It is another product that Internet directories are adopting to round out their online offerings and become so-called portals.

Excite is the No. 2 Internet directory behind Yahoo. In February, Lycos said it agreed to buy Tripod for $58 million in stock, adding an online community to its Internet directory. Yahoo also owns a stake in GeoCities, another online community that is planning to go public.

Excite reports its quarterly earnings tomorrow.