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HotBot offers free email, page building

Two weeks after Lycos acquired Wired Digital, search directory HotBot has quietly launched free email and home page builder services.

Tech Industry

Two weeks after Lycos acquired Wired Digital, search directory HotBot has quietly launched free email and home page builder services.

HotBot did not issue a customary press release on the offerings, instead telling its registered HotWired users about the services today in a mass email. Lycos acquired HotBot, HotWired, and Wired News as part of its $83 million stock-purchase deal.

The free email and home page builder had launched three weeks ago but were upstaged by news of the acquisition, said David Pritchard, marketing director for HotBot. It may be the first of many additions to HotBot using other services under the Lycos umbrella.

"We always look to how we can benefit in being on the Lycos Network," Pritchard said.

Lycos executives made it clear that HotBot was the focal point of the acquisition, fitting into the company's objective to create a network of Web sites with loyal followings. Lycos was also attracted to HotBot because of its established brand among Web veterans and its potential for audience growth.

The addition of free email and a home page builder marks the first sign of Lycos's influence over the search engine. Both new services are powered by subsidiary WhoWhere, which Lycos acquired in August for $133 million in stock.

HotBot has also launched a television advertising campaign in an effort to attract less experienced Web users.

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