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Compaq Trying to Sell AltaVista? 31

sohp writes "This Wired news story reports that Compaq may be selling off AltaVista, Zip2 and other properties. " and if you happen to have a spare couple billion dollars burning a whole in your mattress you might just wanna take a look.
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Compaq Trying to Sell AltaVista?

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  • by Anonymous Coward
    CMGI is an institutional investment company focusing on web properties.

    They already own 18% of Lycos. David Wetherell was pivotal in getting the silly USA Networks deal dropped.

    CMGI has been fairly smart until now. I have no doubts they would do much much more to develop Alta Vista than Compaq has. Compaq has enough troubles satisfying investors with its core business these days.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Says CMGI's Dave Wetherall:"I look for something that's scalable."

    Altavista would provide a huge boost in demographic data for their Engage product, making it all the more valuable.

    Check this recent article [] in Wired.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Here's the kicker: AltaVista [just the search engine part] Actually makes money!. I know [don't ask why] that they paid $250 mil for and at least $200 mil for Zip2. I this climate that makes those holdings alone worth at least $600 mil now [even though they both suck]. The other thing is that while domestic traffic for AV is holding steady around # 10 or 11, international traffic is increasing exponentially.

    Yes $2 billion is probably too much, but keep in mind that Priceline's market cap is $15 billion and they're losing money hand over fist... I for one hope this deal goes through, as the old Compaq management team is killing the focus of the company...

  • Their burning a whole in they're mattress. What part of that don't yew understand? Its quiet simple after awl.
  • Hmm, Altavista is making money, while the rest of Compaq is losing money (they project a loss of $0.15 per share this quarter). Odd.
  • I don't see why slashdot won't get an editor. I'm sure there are plenty of people with decent spelling and grammar who'd do it for free.
  • Interestingly, CMGI own Engage, who have a product known as "Engage Knowledge" - this allows you to compare the demographic and advertising data from your site with the data from *all* Engage sites, so you can see how your users differ from the "net average user".

    Alta Vista would give this product a huge boost in terms of it's database, and vice versa, the revenue generation from Alta Vista will doubtless be enhanced by more sophisticated personalisation and targeting.
  • Watch AOL will probably buy it, they've been buying everything else.

    Net. Admin.
  • I never really liked the AltaVista search engine, because it seemed that whenever I used it, it would find half the porn links in it's database (which wasn't entirely bad ") and the rest of the links would be for something entirely different. I do like the Babelfish translator, bad grammar and all, as it is really handy for those notorious foreign sites. Anyway, just my US$.02...

    The one and (thankfully) only,

  • Well, CMGI funded GeoCities, Raging Bull, PlanetAll, ThingWorld, Vicinity, etc etc etc. The thing I don't understand is why they would purchase Lycos -- they FUNDED Lycos to begin with. I doubt they owned it all, but still. Especially after the CEO of CMGI got in the spat with the CEO of Lycos about the merger with Barry Diller's company (Home shopping network, etc)
  • I can't see Altavista being even 100 million? How in the world did they come up with that figure? Billion dollars worth of hardware?
  • burning a whole what in my mattress?
    --------------------------------------- -------------
    Jamin Philip Gray
  • Keep in mind that VC's do not always refer to technology when talking about "scalability". Revenue models are also considered to be scalable or not.
  • Altavista used to be my favorite search engine...seems like after Compaq bought them out they really didn't keep up with the industry. oh well.
  • I hope they keep the AV translations, or I'll start failing my Spanish class.
  • by Spatch ( 28798 )
    So who is CMGI? I'm surprised I haven't heard much about them before, but then again, this cubicle can be a nice dark cave sometimes.

    What worries me is that CMGI is also thinking about purchasing Lycos as well. Would they be pondering pushing Altavista and Lycos together into one Big Ugly Portal Site? *sigh*

    I wish some folks would learn to leave well enough alone. It was painful enough to watch DejaNews do this, I don't want to see it happen to a halfway-decent search engine, even if it's been bedeviled with ads and 'placement' fees in recent times.

    Just don't touch Google, CMGI. That's all I ask.
  • Specificaly your eyes and ears. We're going to have an auction here (U.S) for various parts of the broadcast spectrum, just selling frequencies, strange world, huh?

  • Almost looks like a Tender Offer. Will Compaq retain any stock at all?
  • Is anything on the Internet worth that much really? Here in the UK there's an investment house rolling out their net portfolio with the line that Yahoo is bigger than British Airways, based on a Yahoo valuation of $60 billion. At least BA can sell its planes...

  • If I volunteer to edit, can I get free slashdot merchandise? That would be nice....

    Geek-grrl in training
    "Of course I still love you. Now stop whining and let me shoot you."
  • My grammar and spelling are good, and I'd be happy to do it for free, I just want a T-shirt.

    Geek-grrl in training
  • Have you seen the market caps of other internet companies? This is not really that bad...well, ok it is...but traditional valuations of net companies just do not work because of the possibility of _silly_ huge gains in the future when the other 70% of the world is hooked up to the net.

  • by Blackfire ( 54010 ) on Wednesday June 23, 1999 @07:05AM (#1836967)
    Hmm.. dumping assets? What could this imply? A market shift perhaps. I can hear the suits at Compaq now...

    Yes that's it. Quickly remove all assets from the internet as that is a fairly stable market now. Quickly divert all extra funds into building radiation proof cases to withstand the 1GHz chip we're gonna smash in there.

    ...and while we're at it...

    Rumour has it that someone has found a way to remove those silly screws from the backs of our boxes. One million to R&D to come up with a new way to prevent kiddies from prying open their boxes.

    From a duct tape manufacturing pant...signing off

  • Yahoo! is valued at something like $60bn, and most of the other never-make-money Internet companies are similarly expensive on paper.

    Alta Vista is just another one on the heap, and arguably has a good chance of surviving the inevitable portal shake-out, because it's not a bad search engine. So it ought to fetch a reasonable price.

    A lot of people thought Compaq might sell AV for a couple of reasons: it might be worth a (riculously) large sum of money, and it doesn't fit well into anything else Compaq does. Compaq is hardly a successful direct-seller, and it's been having a pretty tough time swallowing Digital as it is, what with integrating two lots-of-people organisations.

    Selling off Alta Vista looks like an obvious move. The question is, who'll buy it? I start the bidding at 'bloody AOL'...
  • I just don't have too much sympathy for Compaq. I feel it would almost be better for the industry if they were to go under. My concern lies with Alpha, though.

    The reason I have little respect for Compaq is how they handle their own systems. A friend bought one and had to deal with cheap/proprietary hardware and had to pay for Win95 while not actually receiving the media. What was received instead was a "Compaq System CD" of sorts. Compaq was instrumental in building and supporting the WinTel empire, at the expense of better products.

    So if Compaq sells Altavista and otherwise faces financial burdens, it would be not unlike the countless other companies that were shunned so the ever-profitable WinTel could thrive...
  • We have a LOT of Compaq equipment here, where I work. The IT guys joke around a lot. They call it:

    Completely Obscure, Messy, Proprietary And Quirky.

    And why not? They're COMPLETELY in-bed with Microsoft!

"Never face facts; if you do, you'll never get up in the morning." -- Marlo Thomas