AOL Acquires Quack.com


Friday, September 1st 2000, 12:00 am

By: News On 6


CHANTILLY, Va. (AP) — America Online Inc. announced Thursday its acquisition of Quack.com, one of several companies that specializes in telephone access to the Internet.

Quack's users call a 1-800 number and use a series of voice commands to obtain information about stocks, sports scores, and other information available on the Internet. The service is free.

``We're taking another important step in advancing our AOL Anywhere strategy. Our AOL members want access to applications like news, stock quotes, and e-mail over a wide range of devices, no matter where they are,'' said Ted Leonsis, president of America Online's Interactive Properties Group. ``Quack.com's technology will help extend the AOL experience beyond the PC.''

Terms of the deal were not disclosed. But Bid.com, an investor in Quack, said it received $24 million in AOL stock from its initial $1 million investment.

Bid.com director of marketing Joe Racanelli said his company owned 8 percent to 9 percent of Quack, which would put the deal's value at roughly $265 million.

Racanelli said the company was a good investment because it provides Internet access to millions of people who don't have computers.

``Telephone penetration in this country is 99.9 percent. The computer rate isn't anywhere near that,'' Racanelli said.

Quack's 1-800 number has been shut down. It's unclear if Dulles-based AOL will use a toll-free number to run the service.

Quack.com is privately held. Shares of AOL fell $1.08 to $58.50.

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On the Net:

http://corp.aol.com

http://www.quack.com
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