Yahoo! Inc has taken its strategic partnership with on-line directory service and e-mail provider Four11 Corp one step further by acquiring the privately held company outright. Yahoo! will issue 1.7 million new shares of its gravity defying stock, valuing the transaction at around $92m and allowing the all paper deal to be accounted for as a pooling of interests. In connection with the use of merger accounting, Yahoo! will take a $4m charge in its fourth quarter in relation to expenses incurred in the deal. Four11 Corp specializes in providing directory services, including e-mail, phone and address listings. Yahoo! has been working with the company for some time to provide Yahoo’s own on- line directory services, and the decision to acquire coincides with the launch of Yahoo!’s free web-based email service using Four11 Corp’s well established RocketMail platform. From now on, all new registrants to Yahoo! will be automatically offered a free web-based email service, extending Yahoo!’s philosophy of providing all of its web services free of charge. Also announced on Wednesday, Compaq Computer Corp and Gateway 2000 Inc will start shipping personal computers with a customized version of Microsoft Internet Explorer 4.0 which gives pre-installed access to various Yahoo! services.
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