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NBC to Rein in NBCi Internet Subsidiary

NBC has decided to buy back and fold NBCi, its independent Internet subsidiary, into the rest of the company's operations and may eliminate the 300 jobs associated with the portal.

NBC said yesterday that shareholders will receive $2.19 in cash for each share of NBCi. The purchase will cost NBC about $85 million in cash. NBCi was valued at about $150 million.

General Electric Co., which owns NBC, had a 38.6 percent stake in NBCi.

The Internet subsidiary posted a net loss of $245 million on revenue of $31 million in fourth quarter 2000.

NBC said it was in the process of determining how to use NBCi's assets and would develop a strategy for the Web properties over the next several months.

“Recent changes in the portal space and the Internet advertising market have caused us to re-examine this initiative,” said Bob Wright, vice chairman of General Electric Co. and president/CEO of NBC.

NBCi debuted in November 1999 through the merger of NBC and CNET's jointly owned Snap.com and Xoom.com, as well as other NBC-owned properties.

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