Yahoo!-Overture Deal Passes Antitrust Check

NEW YORK Yahoo!’s $1.63 billion proposed acquisition of Overture has passed a mandatory antitrust review by federal regulators.

The Sunnyvale, Calif.-based Web portal said yesterday that the waiting period under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976 has expired, satisfying one of the customary conditions for the purchase.

Overture yesterday scheduled a special stockholder meeting for Oct. 7 to vote on the cash-and-stock transaction.

In July, Yahoo! announced its plans to acquire Overture, a Pasadena, Calif.-based provider of pay-for-performance search to Web sites [IQ Daily Briefing, July 15]. The deal will advance Yahoo!’s objective of becoming a leader in commercial search, a burgeoning segment that is projected to grow from about $2 billion by year-end 2003 to about $5 billion by 2006, according to Piper Jaffray.

Yahoo! shares (YHOO) were trading on the Nasdaq midday at $34.59, up $1.02 or 3 percent. Its 52-week high is $35.79 and 52-week low is $8.94. Overture stock (OVER) was trading on the Nasdaq at $25.78, up 68 cents or 2.7 percent. Its 52-week high is $31.30; its 52-week low, $10.42.