Tech History

January 28, 1999

Yahoo! Buys GeoCities

In January 1999, near the peak of the dot-com bubble, GeoCities was purchased by Yahoo! for $3.57 billion in stock, with Yahoo! taking control on May 28.

Yahoo! GeoCities (also known as GeoCities) is a web hosting service, currently available only in Japan. It was founded in November 1994by David Bohnett and John Rezner and was called Beverly Hills Internet (BHI) for a very short time. On January 28, 1999, GeoCities was acquired by Yahoo!; at that time it was the third-most visited website on the World Wide Web. In its original form, site users selected a “city” in which to place their web pages. The “cities” were named after real cities or regions according to their content—for example, computer-related sites were placed in “SiliconValley” and those dealing with entertainment were assigned to “Hollywood”—hence the name of the site. Shortly after its acquisition by Yahoo!, this practice was abandoned in favor of using the Yahoo! member names in the URLs.

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