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AltaVista Rounds Up Raging Bull

29 November 1999

PALO ALTO, CALIFORNIA, U.S.A. -- Web portal AltaVista today said it will buy investor-information Web site Raging Bull, a property known for its active community of message-board posters.

In announcing the deal, AltaVista president and chief executive officer, Rod Schrock, said the purchase will edge his company's network of sites into ninth spot among rankings of Web destinations generating the most page views.

AltaVista, majority-owned by CMGI Inc. [NASDAQ:CMGI], and Raging Bull did not disclose the value of the all-stock deal.

Raging Bull spokeswoman Tara Burgess told Newsbytes that her company's Web site, which provides financial news and commentary as well as stock-market data, is considered to be among the "stickiest" in it category because of its busy message boards.

Media Metrix ranks Raging Bull near the top of its lists in terms of time spent on the site per visit, for both home users and those who connect from work.

"The biggest reason our site is so sticky is the community," Burgess said. "The people who come to our site all share a passion for investing. They are very protective of the community, and have a real interest in ensuring that there's a high quality of conversation on the site."

By snapping up Raging Bull, AltaVista gains some ammunition in the battle with portal leader Yahoo Inc. [NSDAQ;YHOO], whose own message boards for investors are touted as the busiest on the Web.

Schrock said Raging Bull will be incorporated into AltaVista's AltaVista Live! Money channel, but will also maintain its current Web presence (www.ragingbull.com).

Based on traffic numbers from Web-survey organizations such as Media Metrix and PC Data Online, Raging Bull currently trails competitors such as TheStreet.com (www.thestreet.com) and Motley Fool (www.fool.com) when measured by total reach, but Burgess said that only Yahoo can boast more-active message boards.

"Now Raging Bull has the opportunity to leverage the strength and resources of AltaVista," she said. "AltaVista is 600 (employees) strong - now 650 strong as we become part of them."

Burgess said Raging Bull currently averages more than 7.5 million page views a day when the stock markets are open.

"The nature of the stock markets lends itself to people logging in quite a bit from work," she said. "We have very high traffic during market hours."

Features that have made for a loyal base of message boards users, Burgess said, include tools to help readers screen out stock touts and judge the credibility of other posters.

"For example we have an ignore feature for (users) you don't want to hear from anymore," she aid. "Also, you can see the track record of a certain poster. If someone gives a piece of advice, you can click on their name and see everything else they've ever said. They may be talking up a stock, but if they've talked up that stock a hundred times in the past week, you may look at them a little differently."

The Raging Bull community has tripled in size since April, and the company says it logs nearly five million posts a day on some 10,000 discussion topics, most of them keyed to stock ticker symbols.

Stephen Killeen, Raging Bull's president and chief executive officer, said the amalgamation "will provide users the best one- stop resource for financial content, community and discussion on the Internet."

The AltaVista Live Money channel already includes content from such sources as the Reuters news agency, CBS MarketWatch, Zacks Investment Research and Hoover's.

AltaVista can be found on the Web at: www.altavista.com.

Reported by Newsbytes.com, www.newsbytes.com

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