is doing some e-purchasing to
move deeper into the e-commerce industry.
The Net portal firm today plopped down $49 million for Cambridge,
Massachusetts-based Viaweb, a maker of
tools for building and operating Internet commerce Web sites.
Yahoo executives said the acquisition is meant to bolster the company's push into the
e-commerce services industry. The Santa Clara, California-based firm
wants to be a services company building, promoting, and operating online storefronts
for small and medium-sized businesses.
Internet-based selling is expected to quadruple in the next few years from
$2.4 billion last year to $12.1 billion by 2000, according to Forrester Research.
These figures have lured industry giants Netscape Communications and Microsoft as well as SAP and Intel--with their joint venture Pandesic--to the e-commerce business.
Yahoo already offers promotional and marketing services to
businesses. With the Viaweb purchase, it hopes to up its offering to
include set-up and design services, hosting, and promotional services through
The acquisition is expected to be completed in June pending stockholder and
regulatory approval. Yahoo executives said the purchase will result in a
$45 million one-time hit in its second quarter.