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Lycos Closes European Portal Amidst Significant Losses

Lycos Europe is to sell some of its assets and shut down the rest, after the company failed to find an investor in the current frosty economic environment, the company announced on Wednesday.

The Netherlands-based company, which provides web hosting, internet search, online shopping tools, and social networking services, has had a staff strength of 694 in September, out of which one-third were employed in Germany.

The company has faced some fierce competition in internet search domain, from the likes of Google and Yahoo, and registered a massive net loss of 17.1 million euros in the first three quarters of 2008, with total sales of 46.9 million euros.

The company said that its management had concluded selling some of its domains, including shopping activities and Danish portal, as the best possible option to sustain in this crisis situation.

Incidentally the company plans to shut down its web hosting and portal businesses; the rest of its business, which still ranks among top-most internet portals, is owned by Daum Communications, a South Korean internet firm.

The group, which is currently controlled by Spanish telecom firm Telefonica and German Media group Bertelsmann, currently holds a market capitalization of 45 million euros.

The decision on the move will be taken after its shareholders’ meeting on 12 December.

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Désiré Athow

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.