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Infoseek, Disney ink cyber deals

Web company acquires Mouse's Starwave

Online search engine Infoseek Corp. on Wednesday acquired Starwave Corp., the Internet production outfit the Walt Disney Co. bought last April from Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen for $300 million.

In return, Disney has completed the purchase of 25.8 million shares of Infoseek stock, a 43% stake in the company, for $70 million in cash and a $139 million warrant to acquire a majority stake in the company over the next three years.

Infoseek declined to disclose the purchase price of Bellevue, Wash.-based Starwave, which has created the popular Websites Mr. Showbiz, Outside Online, NFL.com, NBA.com and NASCAR Online.

Together with Starwave, Infoseek and Disney will launch the Go Network (www.go.com) in December, combining Infoseek’s search capabilities with Disney-owned online entertainment, news and shopping brands including ABCNews.com, ESPN.com and Disney.com. Infoseek will operate the service.

Shares of Infoseek rose $1.25 to close at $37, in reaction to the announcement. Disney stocks dipped 25¢ to close at $28.81.

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