MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. (AP) -- Four large media companies and Adobe Systems Inc.
have bought part of Netscape Communications Corp., a start-up whose software
helps computer users navigate the Internet.
Netscape said Friday it has sold preferred stock amounting to 11 percent of the
company to Adobe, Hearst Corp., Knight-Ridder Inc., TCI Technology Inc. and
Times Mirror Co.
Netscape is privately held, and the cost of the transaction was not disclosed.
But the San Francisco Chronicle, citing unidentified sources, said the deal is
estimated to be in the tens of millions of dollars.
The move could help the media companies sell news electronically as decreasing
numbers of people depend on newspapers for information. Adobe, which has been a
pioneer in electronic publishing, is the fourth-biggest producer of personal
``The growth of the Internet is dramatically changing the world of publishing,''
said Jim Barksdale, Netscape's president and chief executive officer.
``As a key provider of software for online publishing and commerce, we are
working closely with leading companies in the publishing and technology
industries to better understand our customers' requirements and deliver the
solutions for bringing their businesses online,'' he said.
Netscape's software helps consumers and businesses use the World Wide Web, an
important part of the Internet, the global mesh of computer networks.
The Web is a service over which users can exchange visual and audio information
as well as text and is believed to have great commercial potential. An estimated
3 million Internet users have access to the Web.
Netscape was founded last year by former Silicon Graphics Inc. chairman Jim
Clark and Mark Andreesen, who helped create the Web-browsing software.
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