iWon Closes on Excite.com Takeover

By Ryan Naraine

Irvington, New York-based sweepstakes portal iWon.com has closed on a deal to take control of Excite.com, the multi-purpose Web site that was once part of the bankrupt Excite@Home.

Once valued at approximately $7.8 billion, Excite.com was sold for around $10 million as the Redwood City, Calif.-based Excite@Home found itself strapped for cash and laden with debt.

Now, iWon.com said it was getting ready to integrate the old Excite.com features — stock quotes, movie listings and news reports — before New Year’s Day.

The company, which runs loyalty-based marketing campaigns, said a 110-strong technology team has been working on the integration of the two sites for the past two months. The integration included the transfers of approximately 400 million emails, which had to be stored to new computers.

iWon bought the rights to manage the consumer end of Excite.com from InfoSpace, Inc. , which was the original buyer of the assets from Excite@Home. InfoSpace retains control of the search and directory components of Excite.

Once the management of Excite is complete, iWon said it would change its corporate name to The Excite Network. The iWon.com Web site would exist separately.

The British version of Excite.com, which was co-owned by Excite@Home and British Telecom has been shut down and visitors are being transferred to Lycos.co.uk.

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