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Only last month Overture had taken over Espotting's place on Lycos websearch serps.
Story: Yahoo.de [de.news.yahoo.com]
Volume of the deal is given as 17,5 Mill. Euro.
Listings will appear marked as sponsored links, 2 above regular listings, 2 in the middle, on both Lycos channel and Lycos directory pages.
Now espotting will serve listings for three years. The sum Espotting is granting Lycos however remains at 17,5 Mill Euro.
In effect Lycos just got cheaper.
The CFO and COO of Lycos Europe, Uwe Intat, leaves the Company, as announced yesterday evening.
Despite massive cost reduction they keep losing money every quarter.
The worst blow was Bertelsmann cancelling the advertising deal this spring, worth some 600 Mill. Euro if memory serves me.
At the same time they started to try and generate new revenue from paid services and content, just like everybody else.
Just take the search functions: Overture PPC on serps, Espotting on directory and channel pages, paid directory listings, repackaged Fast PartnerSite.
And still they are losing money.
Now Bertelsmann has fired Middelhoff and starts to reorientate their strategy back from new media to traditional areas.
Bertelsmann already tries to sell BOL, one of the largest online booksellers worldwide.
I would not at all be surprised to see Bertelsmann getting rid of Lycos Europe too.
Would Telefonica, majority owner buy the Bertelsmann shares? Would anybody be willing to further invest in Lycos Europe?
I think this is one of the great things that Espotting serves which Overture doesn't.
And if my sources tell me right Espotting will go live on Lycos today or tomorrow.