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@Home-Excite merger a done deal

The Net-over-cable firm completes its $7.2 billion buyout of Excite, the same day that Yahoo gobbled up Geocities.

@Home Network today completed its $7.2 billion buyout of Excite, the same day that Yahoo gobbled up Geocities.

As expected, the company will be called Excite@Home and trade under the ticker symbol "ATHM."

Also as expected, @Home's Tom Jermoluk will retain his titles of chief executive and chairman in the newly merged company and Excite chief executive George Bell will become president of Excite@Home. Bell also joins @Home's board.

The combination should clear the way for a closer working relationship between Excite@Home and Microsoft, perhaps leading to some deals down the road, industy executives speculated. Microsoft is an investor in AT&T, which is a major shareholder of Excite@Home.

"The merger...will revolutionize the way consumers view and interact with communication, information, and entertainment services," Jermoluk said in a statement.

Added Bell: "Excite@Home will give users access to the information they want, when they want it, whether they are using a PC, TV, or any other communications device and provide it across all bands, all devices, all the time."

Terms call for Excite@Home to issue about 58 million shares of @Home series A common stock in exchange for all Excite shares. Each share of Excite stock will be exchanged for 1.04 shares of Excite@Home stock, prior to adjusting for a 2-for-1 stock split.

Separately today, Yahoo completed its acquisition of community site GeoCities, which will boost the portal's community offerings but will require Yahoo to take a one-time charge of roughly $68 million in its second fiscal quarter.

As reported, many of GeoCities' roughly 300 employees will be laid off.