CNET to Acquire NetVentures in Stock Swap

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CNET Inc., an online venue offering reviews of computer products and links to vendors, has agreed to acquire NetVentures as part of a plan to expand its product inventory to include low-priced personal computer "clones."


CNET plans to use NetVentures' ShopBuilder system of Web-site construction as a vehicle for resellers of unbranded PCs to gain a presence within CNET's Shopper.com site. The site lists some 100,000 computer and technology products.


"There are a whole lot of these resellers out there who don't have a presence online, but would like to have a presence online," said Kevin McKenzie, site manager for Shopper.com. "Every week, I've had two or three call me, and I didn't have anything to tell them. Now I'm excited to go back to them and show them what we can do."


CNET, which, like NetVentures, is based in San Francisco, generates revenues from resellers by charging a fee "per click," or each time a viewer accesses a reseller's web site from the CNET web site, located at www.cnet.com.


To complete the transaction, CNET said it would issue about 100,000 common shares of stock in exchange for all of NetVentures' stock. Wednesday, the day the purchase was announced, CNET's stock soared about 20 percent amid widespread market gains, closing at $144 per share. The stock transaction originally had been valued at about $12 million.

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