Lycos tunes up ‘Net with Sonique buy

Online company assimilates IMDI for $71 mil

Lycos Inc. on Thursday said it had acquired Internet Music Distribution Inc., the maker of the Sonique MP3 music player, for nearly $71 million in stock.

Under terms of the deal, Lycos is purchasing IMDI for 1.1 million shares of Lycos stock, plus potential additional consideration based on the Sonique player’s ongoing success.

Lycos beats out Yahoo!, which last month said it was interested in buying IMDI.

Like most online music players, Sonique decodes music files and formats them to be played on computer desktops. The player is available to download from sonique.com at no charge.

Lycos already operates MP3 Search, which enables Internet users to search for music files.

“The acquisition of IMDI is an exciting move for us as we approach our goal of becoming the premier multimedia company,” said Bob Davis, prexy and CEO of Lycos.

Lycos’ strategy combines Web sites for artists and fans, online retail, music file downloads, a music search directory, and Web radio.

Wall Street embraced Lycos’ move, sending shares up $2.38 to close at $35.31, a gain of 7%.

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