South Korean company, Daum, Buys Lycos Inc.

South Korean internet portal Daum has bought Lycos Inc for US$95 million (€79 million) – considerably less than the US$12.5 billion (€10.4 billion) in shares its Spanish owner Terra paid for it just four years ago. In fact, it’s less than 1% of the original price.

Even April this year, the price sought was nearer $170 million (€140 million).

Daum’s new acquisition gives it a subscriber base of 170,000 paid users and a 6% slice of the US banner advertising market. Lycos also features Wired News, the stock market information service Quote and thousands of user created Tripod websites.

Daum president Lee Jae-Woong said that the acquisition of Lycos Inc meant that they were now ready to embark on a global initiative: “a springboard for our company to venture into the US Internet market and become a global player.”

Their new purchase might give Daum a foothold in the US internet market, but Lycos Inc has been loss-making for some time now, and it’s a very tough market out there – they’ll be facing stiff competition form a newly revitalised MSN and a cash-rich Google.

Lycos Inc

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Fraser Lovatt

Fraser Lovatt has spent the last fifteen years working in publishing, TV and the Internet in various capacities, and believes that they will be seperate platforms for at least a while yet. His main interests at the moment are exploring where Linux is taking home entertainment and how technology is conferring technical skills on more and more people. Fraser Lovatt was born in the same year that 2001: A Space Odyssey was delighting and confusing people in the cinemas, and developed a lifelong love of technology as soon as he realised that things could be taken apart, sometimes put back together again, but mostly left in bits or made into something the original designer hadn't quite planned upon. At school he was definitely in the ZX Spectrum/Magpie/BMX camp, rather than the BBC Micro/Blue Peter/well-behaved group. This is all deeply ironic as he later went on to spend nine years working at the BBC. After a few years of working as a bookseller in Scotland, ("Back when it was actually a skilled profession" he'll tell anyone still listening), he moved to England for reasons he can't quite explain adequately to himself. After a couple of publishing jobs punctuated by sporadic bursts of travelling and photography came the aforementioned nine years at the BBC where he specialised in internet technologies and video. These days his primary interests are Java, Linux, videogames and pies - and if they're not candidates for convergence, then what is?