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Disney Plans Internet Hub With Infoseek

September 22, 1998|From Bloomberg News

Walt Disney Co. on Monday unveiled the name of a new Internet hub called Go Network that it will introduce with Infoseek Corp. later this year in a bid to reach a larger online audience.

The move follows Disney's agreement in June to buy a 43% stake in Infoseek, which maintains the fourth-largest Internet search and directory service. The new site will build on and integrate Infoseek's current navigation service, the companies said.

Burbank-based Disney is looking to get more of its media products on the Internet. The companies said the new site is expected to have the third-largest reach in terms of visitors, based on research by Relevant Knowledge, which tracks use of the World Wide Web. Analysts, though, wondered about such an ambitious target.

"That sounds like hype," said Daniel King, with LaSalle Street Securities in Chicago. "It's nice to have a goal to be on top, but it's pretty hard to get there."

Infoseek's traffic during recent months "has been pretty flat," said King. The new service will have to produce a big jump in activity to get Wall Street's attention, he said.

"The announcement is positive, but we need to wait at least a quarter to find out what it means," King said.

Shares of Sunnyvale-based Infoseek rose 81 cents to close at $21.31 on Nasdaq. Disney shares fell 44 cents to $25.13 on the New York Stock Exchange.

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