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Auction gavel strikes Excite@Home

In the market for a used BMW? Some routers or notebooks? That and more hit the auction block on Wednesday, as the assets of the defunct broadband company go up for sale.

In the market for a used BMW? How about some routers and notebooks? All that and more will be on the auction block on Wednesday, as the assets of defunct broadband company Excite@Home go up for sale.


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as Excite@Home winds down operations.


The auction brochure features the typical detritus of a tech blowup. Alongside the foosball tables, arcade games, office furniture and company car, there are switches, servers, PCs and 14 EMC Clarion Storage Fiber Channel Arrays "new in the box."

"The corporate headquarters and its large network of auxiliary offices purchased the finest equipment available," the brochure reads. "In all, a tremendous amount of equipment worth millions of dollars in original purchase cost!"

The sale, which will take place at Excite's headquarters in Redwood City, Calif., and Webcast through DoveBid.com, marks the last gasp of the networking and content giant.

Excite@Home was formed in 1999 through the merger of Internet portal Excite and cable-Internet service provider @Home. Although it signed up more than 4 million subscribers and had a market cap of $35 billion, it fell on rough financial times, eventually running up more than $1.3 billion in debt. Eight months ago the company filed for bankruptcy. Its subscribers have since been transferred to the cable companies that were its partners.

The company ceased operations at the end of February, but battles are still being waged in bankruptcy court. Money raised through the auction will go to pay off creditors.

Excite@Home has already raised as much as it could from selling off nonphysical assets. Among other deals, it sold portal site Excite.com to InfoSpace and iWon for $10 million in November, and sold Blue Mountain Arts, which it acquired in a nearly $1 billion deal, to American Greetings for $35 million in cash in October.

DoveBid has had a hand in the fire sale of assets from other big-name tech flameouts. Last October, it oversaw the well-attended "auction of the year" of relics from former dot-com highflier Webvan.