CMGI confirms talks to buy AltaVista from Compaq

CMGI Inc yesterday confirmed that the company is negotiating with Compaq Computer for the acquisition of AltaVista Co, which runs the AltaVista.com Web portal and search-engine site.

The negotiations are in a preliminary state, according to a CGMI announcement, which follows rumours about the talks that surfaced on Tuesday.

Compaq acquired AltaVista as part of its purchase of Digital Equipment Corp last year. Portals are Web sites that offer a variety of Internet services and links to other sites, but AltaVista has been known more for its search capabilities than its portal services.

CMGI is negotiating for a majority interest in AltaVista, according to the written statement. The company said it would make no further statements until talks are concluded, and cautioned that the current talks are preliminary and that a purchase agreement is not assured.

Compaq officials were not immediately available for comment.

CMGI owns several Internet companies, investing though its affiliate @Ventures. Among the enterprises that CMGI has a stake in are Lycos, Critical Path, CarParts.com and MotherNature.com.

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