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November 12, 1998|Karen Kaplan

GeoCities, a Santa Monica company that offers free home pages on the Web, is hoping to expand its reach on the Internet with the purchase of Ashland, Ore.-based Starseed for nearly $32 million. Closely held Starseed is best known for its WebRing technology, which is used to link sites with a common theme, making the Web easier to navigate. GeoCities spokesman Bruce Zanka said the deal is expected to boost GeoCities' traffic and thereby boost advertising revenue. GeoCities will pay Starseed $2 million in cash, issue as many as 775,000 new shares of common stock and assume as much as $700,000 in debt. Separately, GeoCities is planning to move from its headquarters to a larger office near Marina del Rey. Its shares fell $4.69 to close at $37.69 on Nasdaq.

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