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Wow! So it’s true… OneBox really IS Bill Nguyen’s toy startup. I guess now he can be a full partner at IVP. $770M? Ridiculous.. OneBox has 2.5Million users? Bullshit. 2.5 million people signed up for the service and aren’t using it.

http://www.cnetinvestor.com/newsitem-fd-bloomberg.asp?symbolv607779

Phone.com to Buy Onebox.com for $770 Million in Stock (Update4) 2/14/00 1:24:00 PM Source: Bloomberg News

(Adds closing share price.)

Redwood City, California, Feb. 14 (Bloomberg) — Phone.com Inc., whose software lets wireless telephones browse the Internet, agreed to buy Onebox.com Inc. for about $770 million in stock to add Web-based e-mail, voicemail and faxing services.

Phone.com will exchange 6.5 million of its shares for closely held Onebox.com. Shares of Phone.com have soared 15-fold since the company went public in June at $16 each. The stock fell 2 5/8 to 118 1/2 in Nasdaq trading.

Cellular-phone companies are offering Internet access and other features to boost customer usage as prices for wireless- voice service decline. Onebox.com’s Web-based services will let Phone.com offer products to traditional phone companies such as Bell Atlantic Corp. Phone.com now sells only to their wireless divisions.

”This acquisition further broadens Phone.com’s target market,” Marc Cabi, an analyst at Credit Suisse First Boston, who rates Phone.com ”strong buy,” wrote in a research report.

Cabi wrote that he expects the acquisition to help Redwood City, California-based Phone.com offer new products to customers sooner than its competitors.

Onebox.com

Onebox.com, based in San Mateo, California, brings 2.5 million registered users to Phone.com. Its 70 employees will join Phone.com, and Onebox.com Chief Executive Ross Bott will become chief operating officer of Phone.com’s product groups.

Phone.com, which also will pay transaction costs of about $20 million, said it expects to complete the purchase in the fiscal-fourth quarter ending in June.

Since October, Phone.com has completed two acquisitions and agreed to a third. Last week, the company agreed to buy Paragon Software Ltd., based in Newbury, England, for $434 million. Paragon’s software allows customers to transfer calendar information between cellular phones and personal computers.

Phone.com said it will have about 700 employees when it completes the announced acquisitions. A year ago, the company had about 125 employees. In the six months ended in December, Phone.com had a loss of $24.9 million on sales of $21.3 million.

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