How Long Can Lycos Live In Limbo?

A takeover battle threatens to stall the Net portal's growth

Three months is an eternity in Internet time. But Lycos Inc. will have to wait at least that long until regulators approve a shareholder vote on a takeover bid for the Web portal company. The choice for stockholders: Move ahead with the Feb. 9 offer to merge Lycos into USA Networks Inc., Barry Diller's media company, or follow the advice of David S. Wetherell, the CEO and chairman of CMGI Inc., Lycos' largest shareholder, and vote against it. Wetherell signed off on the Diller deal at a Feb. 7 Lycos board meeting, but he quickly developed seller's remorse as the company's shares fell and is actively lobbying against the offer, now valued at $3.8 billion.

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