Following today's news of its licensing pact with bookseller Barnes & Noble, shares of Lycos Inc. shot up more than 16 percent to just over $25 in early afternoon trading.
The agreement makes Barnes & Noble the exclusive book vendor on Lycos' search engine site, and provides for Lycos to receive a percentage of all Barnes & Noble transactions driven off its site, company officials said. They did not divulge the exact percentage.
Retail giant Barnes & Noble is aggressively targeting the Web's most well-known bookstore, Amazon.com. Barnes & Noble is the exclusive bookseller on America Online Inc.'s popular Marketplace online shopping mall. The deal with Lycos is similar to alliances Amazon.com has made with Yahoo! Inc. and Excite Inc.
Book retailing has proven to be one of the most lucrative electronic-commerce markets, with a string of new players entering the field just this week. British booksellers Dillons and Blackwells on Monday separately announced plans to launch online bookstores within the next several weeks.
Another British chain, Waterstone's Books, launched its online bookstore in October and has generated some 80,000 hits per month on its site, company officials said.
The Barnes and Noble site is at www.barnesandnoble.com/.