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Lycos deals spawn strange bedfellows

Thanks to its pending buyout by Lycos, Wired finds itself teaming up with a business that sells cubic zirconium jewelry on television.

Jeff Pelline Staff Writer, CNET News.com
Jeff Pelline is editor of CNET News.com. Jeff promises to buy a Toyota Prius once hybrid cars are allowed in the carpool lane with solo drivers.
Jeff Pelline
Wired Digital, meet Barry Diller.

Thanks to its pending buyout by Lycos, the collection of Web sites featuring original content--including news and the irreverent Suck.com site--finds itself teaming up with a business that sells cubic zirconium jewelry on television, among other things.

Some Wired insiders are grousing about the deal and wondering about any potential fallout when the corporate cultures merge. Others are bullish, expecting greater resources.

Wired founder Louis Rossetto, who will own Lycos stock when the buyout of Wired by Lycos is expected to close next month, is upbeat. "It's basically a good deal," he said today, pointing to the potential e-commerce benefits. "The market overreacted."

Lycos stock took a drubbing today as Wall Street analysts expressed doubts about the deal. Executives at Lycos and Diller's USA Networks remained optimistic.

In a memo to the Lycos rank-and-file, chief executive Bob Davis said the deal would create a major media company and global commerce force, surpassing competitors such as Amazon and Yahoo.