Netscape expands Netcenter via acquisition

Netscape Communications is to acquire Web site services provider AtWeb for an undisclosed amount. Netscape intends to maintain AtWeb as a wholly-owned subsidiary within its Netcenter portal division. Netscape says the addition of AtWeb's automated Web site management and marketing services to Netcenter will boost the portal's offering for small businesses and independent Web publishers, officials said - and integrate more than 600,000 Web sites into Netcenter.

Netscape Communications is to acquire Web site services provider AtWeb for an undisclosed amount. Netscape intends to maintain AtWeb as a wholly-owned subsidiary within its Netcenter portal division.

The addition of AtWeb's automated Web site management and marketing services to Netcenter will boost the portal's offering for small businesses and independent Web publishers, officials said.

The acquisition of AtWeb will integrate more than 600,000 Web sites into Netscape Netcenter, according to Mike Homer, executive vice president and general manager of Netcenter.

Homer said AtWeb's services will expand the Small Business Channel of Netcenter, which comprises approximately 35 percent of Netcenter members, to enable small businesses and independent Web publishers to greatly enhance their Web presence.

Web sites that sign up with AtWeb's Register It Web site registration service will now be enrolled automatically into Netscape Netcenter, thereby linking them with Netcenter services, such as Smart Browsing, Netscape Search, and Netscape Directory.

In addition to Register It, Netscape will also incorporate AtWeb's entire suite of online services. These services let small business Web sites and independent Web publishers communicate with their visitors through direct marketing tools such as the Web Site Post Office; optimize their Web sites through the Web Site Garage, which runs critical diagnostics and provides tune-ups to improve Web sites; and track the success of their Web sites through the Hitometer measurement tool.

Over time, Netscape plans to expand the AtWeb family of products to offer such services as an electronic-commerce affiliate program and an ad banner exchange, officials said. The AtWeb Web site services are scheduled for availability on Netcenter by the end of the year. Users will be able to access the services through Netcenter's Small Business Channel and DevEdge Online.

Netscape Communications Corp., in Mountain View, California, can be reached at http://www.netscape.com/. AtWeb Inc., in Sunnyvale, California, can be reached at http://www.atweb.com/.

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