@Home buys Excite for $6.7 billion

Is that a Web search engine in your pocket, or are you just happy to see me? @Home, the fledgling high-speed Internet access company, announced Monday that it will be buying Excite Inc. for $6.7 billion in stock. Excite currently has about 20 million registered users which use the site as a portal to the Web. Excite will continue to be run independently as a subsidiary of @Home.

"The ubiquitous reach of dial-up access combined with the fast expanding footprint of broadband gives consumers the ability to seamlessly migrate between services at different speeds and devices with a consistent interface," said @Home CEO Tom Jermoluk of the deal. "Excite and @Home will give consumers access to the information they want, when they want it, whether they are using a PC, TV or any other communications device."

Of course the big deal here is the price: Whether something like Excite is worth almost $7 billion is a matter of opinion, but the company does make AT&T, which is the primary shareholder in @Home, a front-line player in the increasingly consolidated online industry

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