WebMD Buys OnHealth Network

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Healtheon/WebMD Corp., Atlanta, yesterday said it will buy Internet health Web site OnHealth Network Co., Seattle, in a stock deal worth $313 million.

The acquisition combines the two largest consumer Web sites. The combined company hopes to become the most trafficked Web site for consumers and physicians.

According both companies, the additional consumer base brought to Healtheon/WebMD as part of the acquisition is anticipated to create a critical consumer mass that will be leveraged to encourage physicians to use new Healtheon/WebMD planned services and transactions.

"We believe that this transaction will increase the direction of consumers to one single portal, supporting our business model of bringing together the physician and consumer to connect them with the entire healthcare industry and facilitate a better healthcare delivery system," said Jeff Arnold, CEO of Healtheon/WebMD. "We will quickly enhance the breadth and depth of our consumer offerings with OnHealth's quality, original content and tools to solidify WebMD's position as the leading Internet portal for health in the broadest sense."

This is the second major acquisition for Healtheon/WebMD this week. On Monday the company bought its main rival CareInstitute Inc.

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