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AOL DIALS 777-FILM AND PURCHASES MOVIEFONE FOR $388M.

America Online Inc has acquired MovieFone Inc, the purveyor of telephone and web-based movie information and ticketing services for about $388m in AOL stock. In addition to its web-based transaction service, MovieFone provides familiar phone numbers in numerous local US markets where movie-goers can dial 777-FILM to order tickets - in fact in many cities it is the only way people can order tickets over the phone. The company will be renamed AOL MovieFone and will become one of the anchor tenants on the AOL online service and added to its Digital Cities local web guides, becoming the preferred method for buying film tickets across AOL. That service is currently supplied to AOL by Premier DataVision Inc, but there's no word from AOL on what is happening to that relationship. MovieFone covers some 17,000 screens in 42 US cities and claims to reach 70% of the country's movie-going audience. The company is controlled by the Jarecki family and its affiliates, who between them own more than 90% of voting shares and who have already approved the deal. AOL will exchange a fraction of its common stock for each MovieFone share, but the exact proportion will be determined by dividing $29.25 by AOL's average price during a specified period prior to the acquisition. However, AOL says the fractions will not be less than 0.1670 or more than 0.2259 shares. Due to its near-monopoly position in movie ticket- buying, MovieFone has become ingrained into the New York culture to such an extent that the voice of the phone service - "Mister MovieFone" - is one of those advising New Yorkers to "buckle-up" in the back of the city's taxis.
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Publication:Computergram International
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Feb 2, 1999
Words:278
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