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Internet

Ovitz backs Web aggregator start-up

The Hollywood agent is lending his entertainment credentials to Silicon Valley start-up Octopus.com.

Hollywood agent Michael Ovitz is lending his entertainment credentials to another Silicon Valley start-up.

As previously reported, Lynx Technology Group, Ovitz's investment and consulting firm, announced an alliance today with Web aggregator Octopus.com to help push its technology with media companies. Next week, Octopus plans to unveil partnerships with several online entertainment firms, including E Online, Dimension Music, GameSpy Industries and Hollywood Stock Exchange, according to the company.

For Lynx, the venture is the latest in a string of alliances with more than a dozen tech companies, including natural-language search engine Ask Jeeves and "peer-to-peer" file-sharing start-up Scour.net.

"Media companies are very interested in new distribution platforms," said Peter Levin, managing director of Lynx. "This was a no-brainer."

Octopus allows people to construct custom "views" of the Internet by pulling data from various Web sites onto a single page. The company has so far focused on offering financial information but plans to do the same for entertainment content geared toward high-speed Internet connections.

Using the company's so-called MetaViewer, people can create custom Web pages linking to text, images and streaming media, such as video clips. The content is automatically updated and displayed whenever the page is loaded.

With today's deal, Octopus gains another high-profile backer that could help it expand its services. Netscape Communications co-founder Marc Andreessen joined its board of directors in May.