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InfoSpace buys Locus for up to $132 mln

InfoSpace Communications Inc. (Nasdaq: INSP) announced Monday that it will buy privately–held Locus Dialogue in a move to bring voice recognition capabilities to the buyer’s wireless devices.

Shares of the wireless, broadband and narrowband service provider were bumped up 0.06 to 24.19 in early trading.

The deal is expected to be worth between $103 million to $132 million. InfoSpace will issue between 4.3 million to 5.5 million shares of its common stock for the Canadian company, based on a formula to be calculated at the time of the acquisition's completion.

The deal is expected to close during the fourth quarter of 2000.

InfoSpace is acquiring Locus for its speech recognition-technologies, which allow for automatic speech recognition, natural language understanding, speaker verification, speaker identification, and text-to-speech server technology. Locus' products offer simultaneous support for multiple languages .

InfoSpace will use the speech recognition capabilities on its existing wireless applications and services, including phones and other personal devices.