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AOL buys Mapquest for $1.1 billion

America Online, Inc (NYSE: AOL) said Wednesday it will buy MapQuest.com, Inc. (Nasdaq: MQST), in an all-stock deal valued at about $1.1 billion. AOL said the deal will enhance its "AOL Anywhere" strategy

Shares in AOL closed at 85 Tuesday. MapQuest shares closed at 32 1/2 Tuesday, up since the company snuck past estimates in its first quarter. The online map company, which got a majority of traffic from its relationship with AOL competitor Yahoo! (Nasdaq: YHOO), launched its IPO in May.

It wasn't immediately clear how the AOL acquisition of Mapquest will affect Yahoo.

America Online's brands, including members of AOL and CompuServe and visitors to Netcenter and ICQ, will be provided with MapQuest's maps and directions and tools. The relationship, which will add MapQuest's services to AOL's Digital City and MovieFone offers new advertising and commerce opportunities built around mapping and directions for entertainment, dining and shopping.

MapQuest.com ranked among the top 50 Web properties according to the most recent Media Metrix data, with a reach of almost 6 percent. generates the majority of all Internet mapping page views, delivers mapping solutions to almost 1,000 Web sites and is linked to by more than 170,000 sites. MapQuest.com also has a growing international presence, with coverage of 78 countries in five languages.

"Like calendaring, maps are a great example of a product that is easier to use and more useful online than offline. With AOL's resources and infrastructure behind MapQuest, we can accelerate the distribution of maps on smart-phones, PalmPilots and other non-PC devices," said AOL President and Chief Operating Officer Bob Pittman in a press release.

Shareholders of MapQuest.com will receive 0.31558 shares of AOL common stock for each share of MapQuest stock. The stock-for-stock, pooling-of-interests transaction is expected to close in the spring of 2000.