Disney spins off Go.com

Shareholders approve Infoseek acquisition

Disney shareholders on Wednesday approved the media giant’s planned spinoff of its Internet assets into a separate publicly traded company called Go.com.

As expected, stockholders also approved the Walt Disney Co.’s acquisition of Internet search engine Infoseek Corp., which paves the way for creating Go.com.

Infoseek will be combined with Disney’s Buena Vista Internet Group to form the single Internet venture.

Disney said 97% of shareholders approved the Go.com plan, while 93% approved the acquisition of Infoseek.

In July, Disney said it would acquire the remaining 58% it didn’t already own of Infoseek. It planned to combine Go.com, its joint Internet portal, with other Web sites and take them public on Wall Street.

Shares of the new common stock, which will track the performance of Go.com, will begin trading on the New York Stock Exchange today.

Popular portal

Go.com has become a popular Internet portal that combines Infoseek’s search engine with content from Disney movies and theme parks, ABC television and ESPN sports.

Disney is hoping to broaden its efforts on the Web to capitalize on its brands.

Under fire

Go.com has been under fire all week for the design of its green and yellow traffic light logo. A Los Angeles judge last week ruled that the logo, unveiled last year in a major branding campaign, was too similar to Pasadena-based search engine GoTo.com’s logo, which bowed in 1997.

Shares of Disney were off 13¢ to close at $26, while Infoseek benefited from the acquisition, surging $3 to close at $37.88, a gain of 8%.

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