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Excite@Home to buy

    Excite@Home (Nasdaq: ATHM) said Thursday it will buy, an online games site aimed at the mass market, for an undisclosed amount.

    The deal may help out the troubled company, which has been causing acquirer AT&T (NYSE: T) financial grief. AT&T trimmed its profit forecasts August 29 as it officially adopted Excite@Home's burdens.

    Excite@Home shares closed at 14.63 Wednesday.'s multi-user online games will also be a key asset of Excite@Home's broadband TV initiative; its audience in the narrowband online games market is ripe for migration to the broadband and set-top platforms, the companies said.

    Excite@Home will also benefit from's stickiness. Its users spend about 84 minutes per week online, and nearly 45 minutes per visit, according to Nielsen Net Ratings. Its network also had a 7.9 reach with just over six million unique visitors in June, according to Media Metrix.

    Excite@Home, which already had a 10 percent equity investment and content partnership with the company, will operate it as a subsidiary. will continue to provide co-branded online games services to other companies.

    The transaction is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2000.