On a Memorable Day, Lycos Inks Deal with Infonautics

Wednesday, May 12 is day to remember for Lycos. First came the announcement that the planned merger between Lycos (Nasdaq: LCOS) and USA Networks unraveled like a ball of yarn after Lycos shareholders roundly rejected the deal. Then came the announcement that the two had salvaged some pre-merger work with the announcement that Ticketmaster Online – City Search — 61 % owned by USA Networks — and Lycos reached a distribution and content agreement.

And finally, perhaps buried somewhat in the hoopla Wednesday, is the fact that Lycos also signed an agreement with Infonautics (Nasdaq: INFO) to market a co-branded version of Infonautics’ Company Sleuth service, a free service that digs up hard to find business information on the Internet.

The Company Sleuth service will be integrated into Lycos existing investing section, www.investing.lycos.com. It will allow Lycos users to probe the Internet for nuggets of useful information on companies. Users will be able check with the U.S. Patent Office for issued patents, track SEC filings, find job postings, get business headlines and company press releases and get analysts and broker reports and recommendations.

“The personal finance and investing category is one of our fastest-growing areas, and Lycos is proud to team with Infonautics to expand our content offerings,” said Jan Horfsall, Lycos VP for Marketing.

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Lycos claims to be the most visited hub on the Internet. Consisting of Lycos.com, Tripod, WhoWhere, AngelFire, MailCity, HotBot, HotWired, Wired News, WebMonkey, Suck.com and MyTime.com, the Lycos network draws in 51.8 % of Internet visitors.

Infonautics, founded in 1992 and based in Wayne, Pennsylvania, is perhaps best known for Electric Library, the first reference service of its type on the Internet. Electric Library is one of the largest paid subscription sites on the Web, with 75,000 subscribers. It provides reference material to 15,000 institutions in all 50 states.

Infonautics sells online information to schools, libraries, consumers and businesses and generates some 20 million page views and two million unique visitors per month. That figure places it in the top 75 properties on the Internet.

“We are extremely excited to be paired with the most visited hub on the Internet and the world’s largest online community,” said Van Morris, Infonautics President and CEO. Undoubtedly so, but Morris probably wished that Lycos didn’t have so much on its plate the day the pairing was announced.

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