Compaq, CMGI finalize AltaVista deal

Compaq Computer says it has completed the deal for CMGI to acquire its AltaVista portal site and also says it has invested in an Internet alliance with Engage Technologies.

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Compaq Computer today said it has completed the deal for Internet venture capital and incubator firm CMGI to acquire the AltaVista portal site, and also said it has invested in an Internet alliance with Engage Technologies.

As first reported by CNET News.com, CMGI said it will acquire control of Compaq's AltaVista business and its related properties--Shopping.com and Zip2--and will integrate the AltaVista search engine into its network of 40 Internet operating companies.

Through the transaction, worth about $2.3 billion, Compaq transferred 83 percent equity ownership in AltaVista to CMGI. Compaq retained 17 percent equity ownership in AltaVista and continues to hold a board seat.

In return, Compaq received 19 million CMGI common shares, CMGI preferred shares equivalent to 1.8 million CMGI common shares, and a $220 million three-year note to Compaq, making the PC maker the largest outside shareholder in CMGI, the companies said in a statement.

As previously reported, CMGI and AltaVista hope to provide Internet services to both businesses and consumers and to drive the Internet PC market by combining Compaq's consumer PC business with CMGI's network of Internet destinations and technologies.

CMGI said it will work with Compaq's research labs and business groups on the continued development of advanced search technologies for the AltaVista portal site.

In addition, Compaq said it has made an investment and formed a partnership with Andover, Massachusetts-based Engage Technologies, a subsidiary of CMGI, to deliver Internet-related marketing services to Compaq's customers.

Under the agreement, Compaq said it will deploy Engage's Precision Profiling and its AdManager technology on Compaq.com. Compaq said these products will enable personalization and automate delivery of Web content, banner advertisements, special offers, and promotions across the PC maker's corporate Web site.