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CMGI's Stance on Lycos Deal Shakes Stocks

The 20% Lycos shareholder wants more premium.

Internet stocks are quaking again this afternoon on news CMGI (CMGI) may not support the proposed Lycosundefined deal with USA Networks (USAI) - Get Free Report and Ticketmaster Online-CitySearchundefined.

Apparently, CMGI, which owns roughly 20% of Lycos stock, does back the deal, but only if Lycos gets a better premium for its shareholders, according to wire reports. Shares of Lycos fell sharply over the past two days following news that USA would receive 61.5% of the new company, while Lycos shareholders received 30% and Citysearch holders 8.5%.

Shares of Lycos were up 14 7/16, or 16%, at 101 11/16, while CMGI was up 17 15/16, or 18%, at 110, and Ticketmaster Online-CitySearch was up 4 1/8 at 41 1/4.

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(INTU) - Get Free Report

figures its future lies in selling its software and other financial services via the Web rather than in shrink-wrapped, boxed software in stores.

However, Raymond Stern, the company's senior vice president of finance and strategy, acknowledged increasing competition from companies like



, which is offering insurance and mortgage services online in competition with Intuit. More competition could eventually lead Intuit to invest more in its own site, Stern said Thursday at the

Goldman Sachs Technology Investment Symposium

in New York.

"Right now, we have a delicate balance between delivering results and having to invest, which makes us disciplined in how we invest," he said.

But he said the company continues to evaluate that balance and that "at some point, we're going to have to cap those profits and reinvest. We can't pump up profits forever."

Stern added if the company found a compelling reason to acquire another business, it would consider making such a move, even if it weighed on near-term earnings. "We're open to rethinking our profit model," he said, while making it clear that for now Intuit is happy with what it has.


Medora Lee