REDWOOD CITY, Calif. (AP) _ ExciteatHome, one of the biggest Internet portals and access providers, said that it will swallow up the e-commerce company iMall for $425 million in stock.

IMall builds and maintains online shopping sites for small- and medium-sized merchants. It also operates two Internet shopping search engines and it hasn't been determined if those site will remain separate or if they will be folded into the Excite Web portal, ExciteatHome officials said yesterday.

``This deal brings in lots of new merchants and enriches the commerce area for people using our site,'' ExciteatHome President George Bell said. ``I think it will generate a lot more page views.''

ExciteatHome will add IMall's e-commerce Web site building and hosting business to its atWork business division, which Richard Rosenblatt, iMall's chairman and chief executive, will lead.

``This allows us to use the credibility and resources of ExciteatHome to expand our business plan,'' said Rosenblatt. ``It opens us up to a large group of new partners.''

Redwood City-based ExciteatHome has a market capitalization of $12.5 billion IMall of Santa Monica has a market capitalization of $383.7 million.

ExciteatHome will issue 8.3 million shares of new stock for the deal, giving iMall shareholders .46 shares for each share of iMall stock they own.

ExciteatHome also announced Tuesday that it signed a 10-year deal with First Data Corp. of Atlanta to provide credit card transaction services to merchants on Excite. First Data had also partnered with iMall to provide credit card services to merchants on its sites.