Disney Shutter's Go Portal

Walt Disney said Monday that it will discontinue operations of its troubled Go.com Web portal, becoming the latest big media company to fold its Internet efforts back into core TV businesses.

Go.com's entire work force, about 400 employees, has been laid off with the closure, said Disney spokeswoman Susan Murdy.

The layoffs will shut down the portal's Sunnyvale, Calif. office, where the majority of its employees were based. The laid-off employees were given severance packages that included 60 calendar days of pay and benefits, according to one source.

In addition, Infoseek, a search engine in which Disney acquired a controlling interest in 1998, will likely disappear if the company can sell its technology to a third party, Murdy said.

The company may also sell the site's traffic, giving the rights to redirect people who visit Infoseek to another Web site, she added. Disney's decision follows similar moves by other big media companies.

Creating hub Web sites to vault people to other content sites may be an ill-fated strategy, analysts say, adding that Web users, like TV viewers, go to brands they trust.

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