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                          AGREEMENT AND PLAN OF MERGER

                                  BY AND AMONG

                                   LYCOS, INC.

                              POD ACQUISITION CORP.

                                  TRIPOD, INC.

                                       AND

                             CERTAIN SHAREHOLDERS OF

                                  TRIPOD, INC.

                                      DATED

                                FEBRUARY 2, 1998


           -----------------------------------------------------------
<PAGE>

                                TABLE OF CONTENTS

ARTICLE I

    THE MERGER.............................................................-1-
    1.1  The Merger........................................................-1-
    1.2  Effective Time....................................................-2-
    1.3  Effect of the Merger..............................................-2-
    1.4  Certificate of Incorporation; By-Laws.............................-2-
    1.5  Directors and Officers............................................-2-
    1.6  Additional Actions................................................-2-
                                                                            
ARTICLE II                                                                  
                                                                            
    CONSIDERATION; CONVERSION OF SHARES....................................-3-
    2.1  Merger Consideration..............................................-3-
    2.2  Conversion of Shares..............................................-3-
    2.3  Exchange of Certificates..........................................-5-
    2.4  No Fractional Securities..........................................-6-
    2.5  Stock Transfer Books..............................................-6-
    2.6  No Further Ownership Rights in Company Stock......................-6-
    2.7  Adjustment Event..................................................-7-
    2.8  Escrow............................................................-8-
    2.9  Tax Consequences..................................................-8-
                                                                            
ARTICLE III                                                                 
                                                                            
    REPRESENTATIONS AND WARRANTIES OF THE                                   
    COMPANY AND THE PRINCIPAL SHAREHOLDERS.................................-8-
    3.1  Corporate Organization............................................-8-
    3.2  Authorization.....................................................-9-
    3.3  Consents and Approvals; No Violations.............................-9-
    3.4  Capitalization...................................................-10-
    3.5  Financial Statements.............................................-11-
    3.6  Absence of Undisclosed Liabilities...............................-11-
    3.7  Absence of Certain Changes or Events.............................-11-
    3.8  Legal Proceedings, etc...........................................-12-
    3.9  Taxes............................................................-12-
    3.10 Title to Properties and Related Matters..........................-13-
    3.11 Intellectual Property; Proprietary Rights; Employee                
         Restrictions.....................................................-14-
    3.12 Contracts........................................................-16-
    3.13 Employees; Employee Benefits.....................................-18-
    3.14 Compliance with Applicable Law...................................-21-


                                       (i)
<PAGE>

    3.15 Ability to Conduct the Business.................................-21-
    3.16 Major Customers.................................................-21-
    3.17 Consultants, Sales Representatives and Other Agents.............-22-
    3.18 Accounts Receivable.............................................-22-
    3.19 Insurance.......................................................-22-
    3.20 Bank Accounts; Powers of Attorney...............................-22-
    3.21 Minute Books, etc...............................................-23-
    3.22 Related Person Indebtedness and Contracts.......................-23-
    3.23 Brokers; Payments...............................................-23-
    3.24 Company Action..................................................-23-
    3.25 Disclosure......................................................-23-
                                                                           
ARTICLE IV                                                                 
                                                                           
    REPRESENTATIONS AND WARRANTIES                                         
    OF THE PRINCIPAL SHAREHOLDERS........................................-24-
    4.1  Authorization etc...............................................-24-
    4.2  Parent Common Stock.............................................-25-
                                                                           
ARTICLE V                                                                  
                                                                           
    REPRESENTATIONS AND WARRANTIES                                         
    OF THE PARENT AND ACQUISITION........................................-27-
    5.1  Corporate Organization..........................................-27-
    5.2  Authorization...................................................-27-
    5.3  Consents and Approvals; No Violations...........................-28-
    5.4  Capitalization..................................................-28-
    5.5  SEC Reports and Financial Statements............................-29-
    5.6  Absence of Certain Changes......................................-29-
    5.7  Disclosure......................................................-30-
    5.8  Litigation......................................................-30-
    5.9  Due Diligence Investigation.....................................-30-
    5.10 Tax Treatment of Merger.........................................-30-
                                                                           
ARTICLE VI                                                                 
                                                                           
    CONDUCT OF BUSINESS OF THE COMPANY AND                                 
    THE PARENT PRIOR TO THE EFFECTIVE TIME...............................-30-
    6.1  Conduct of Business of the Company..............................-30-
    6.2  Conduct of Business of the Parent...............................-32-
    6.3  Conduct of Business of Acquisition..............................-32-
    6.4  Other Negotiations..............................................-32-


                                      (ii)
<PAGE>

ARTICLE VII

    ADDITIONAL AGREEMENTS.................................................-33-
    7.1   Access to Properties and Records................................-33-
    7.2   Stockholder Approval............................................-33-
    7.3   Reasonable Efforts; etc.........................................-34-
    7.4   Material Events.................................................-34-
    7.5   Registration Statement on Form S-8..............................-34-
    7.6.  Fees and Expenses...............................................-34-
    7.7   Employees.......................................................-35-
    7.8   Board of Directors of the Parent; Observer......................-35-
    7.9   Nasdaq National Market Listing..................................-36-
    7.10  Directors and Officers Indemnification..........................-36-
    7.11  Tripod Brand....................................................-36-
    7.12  Location of Operations..........................................-36-
    7.13  Tax Treatment...................................................-36-
                                                                            
ARTICLE VIII                                                                
                                                                            
    CONDITIONS TO THE OBLIGATIONS OF                                        
    THE PARENT AND ACQUISITION............................................-36-
    8.1  Representations and Warranties True..............................-37-
    8.2  Performance......................................................-37-
    8.3  Absence of Litigation............................................-37-
    8.4  Consents.........................................................-37-
    8.5  Additional Agreements............................................-38-
    8.6  Opinion of Hale and Dorr.........................................-38-
    8.7  Delivery of Certificates for Cancellation........................-38-
    8.8  Appraisal Rights.................................................-38-
    8.9  Termination of Agreements........................................-38-
    8.10 Certificate of Merger............................................-39-
                                                                            
ARTICLE IX                                                                  
                                                                            
    CONDITIONS TO THE OBLIGATIONS OF THE                                    
    COMPANY AND THE PRINCIPAL SHAREHOLDERS................................-39-
    9.1  Representations and Warranties True..............................-39-
    9.2  Performance......................................................-39-
    9.3  Absence of Litigation............................................-39-
    9.4  Consents.........................................................-40-
    9.5  Additional Agreements............................................-40-
    9.6  Opinion of Hutchins, Wheeler & Dittmar...........................-40-
    9.7  Certificate of Merger............................................-40-


                                      (iii)
<PAGE>

    9.8   Shares of Parent Common Stock...................................-40-
                                                                            
ARTICLE X                                                                   
                                                                            
    TERMINATION...........................................................-41-
    10.1  Termination.....................................................-41-
    10.2  Effect of Termination...........................................-41-
                                                                            
ARTICLE XI                                                                  
                                                                            
    INDEMNIFICATION; SURVIVAL OF                                            
    REPRESENTATIONS AND WARRANTIES........................................-41-
    11.1  Indemnity Obligations of the Holders............................-41-
    11.2  Appointment of Representative...................................-42-
    11.3  Notification of Claims..........................................-42-
    11.4  Duration........................................................-43-
    11.5  Escrow..........................................................-43-
    11.6  No Contribution.................................................-44-
                                                                            
ARTICLE XII                                                                 
                                                                            
    REGISTRATION RIGHTS...................................................-44-
    12.1   Registration Rights............................................-44-
    12.2   Indemnification................................................-46-
    12.3   Current Public Information.....................................-47-
    12.4   Termination of Registration Rights.............................-48-
    12.5   Transferability of Registration Rights.........................-48-
                                                                            
ARTICLE XIII                                                                
                                                                            
    MISCELLANEOUS PROVISIONS..............................................-48-
    13.1  Amendment.......................................................-48-
    13.2  Waiver of Compliance............................................-48-
    13.3  Notices.........................................................-48-
    13.4  Assignment......................................................-50-
    13.5  No Third Party Beneficiaries....................................-50-
    13.6  Public Announcements............................................-50-
    13.7  Brokers and Finders.............................................-50-
    13.8  Counterparts....................................................-50-
    13.9  Headings........................................................-50-
    13.10 Entire Agreement................................................-51-
    13.11 Governing Law...................................................-51-


                                      (iv)
<PAGE>

EXHIBITS
- --------

     Exhibit A     Voting Agreement
     Exhibit B     Certificate of Merger
     Exhibit C     Form of Letter of Transmittal
     Exhibit D     Escrow Agreement
     Exhibit E     Form of Employment and Non-Competition Agreement
     Exhibit F     Form of Nondisclosure and Inventions Agreement
     Exhibit G     Opinion of Hale and Dorr LLP
     Exhibit H     Opinion of Hutchins, Wheeler & Dittmar
     Exhibit I     Shareholder Letter Agreement

                                      (v)
<PAGE>

                         AGREEMENT AND PLAN OF MERGER

     AGREEMENT AND PLAN OF MERGER dated February 2, 1998 by and among Lycos,
Inc., a corporation organized under the laws of the State of Delaware (the
"Parent"), Pod Acquisition Corp., a corporation organized under the laws of the
State of Delaware and a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Parent ("Acquisition"),
Tripod, Inc., a corporation organized under the laws of the State of Delaware
(the "Company"), and certain shareholders of the Company, each of whom is listed
on the signature page hereto (each a  "Principal Shareholder " and,
collectively, the "Principal Shareholders").

     WHEREAS, the respective Boards of Directors of the Parent, Acquisition and
the Company have approved the merger of Acquisition with and into the Company
(the "Merger"), pursuant to which the Company will be the surviving corporation
and the shareholders of the Company and all holders of options and warrants to
purchase capital stock of the Company (collectively, the "Holders") will be
entitled to receive the consideration provided for in this Agreement, all upon
the terms and subject to the conditions set forth herein;

     WHEREAS, it is intended that the Merger qualify as a tax-free
reorganization within the meaning of Section 368(a) of the Internal Revenue Code
of 1986, as amended (the "Code"); and

     WHEREAS, as a condition and inducement to Parent's willingness to enter
into this Agreement, the Principal Shareholders and certain other shareholders
of the Company have, concurrently with the execution of this Agreement, executed
and delivered a Voting Agreement in the form attached hereto as Exhibit A,
                                                                ---------
pursuant to which the Principal Shareholders and such other shareholders have
agreed to vote their shares of the Company's capital stock in favor of the
Merger and to grant Parent irrevocable proxies to vote such shares.

     NOW, THEREFORE, in consideration of the mutual covenants, representations,
warranties and agreements set forth herein, and intending to be legally bound
hereby, the parties hereby agree as follows:

                                   ARTICLE I

                                  THE MERGER

     1.1 The Merger.  (a)  At the Effective Time (as defined in Section 1.2),
         ----------                                                         
and subject to and upon the terms and conditions of this Agreement and the
Delaware General Corporation Law (the "DGCL"), Acquisition shall be merged with
and into the Company, the separate corporate existence of Acquisition shall
cease, and the Company shall continue as the surviving corporation.  The Company
as the surviving corporation after the Merger is hereinafter sometimes referred
to as the "Surviving Corporation."

         (b) Closing.  Unless this Agreement shall have been terminated and the
             -------                                                          
transactions herein contemplated shall have been abandoned pursuant to Article X
and subject to the satisfaction or waiver of the conditions set forth in
Articles VIII and IX, the consummation of
<PAGE>

the Merger (the "Closing") will take place as promptly as practicable (and in
any event within two business days) after satisfaction or waiver of the
conditions set forth in Articles VIII and IX, at the offices of Hutchins,
Wheeler & Dittmar, A Professional Corporation, 101 Federal Street, Boston,
Massachusetts, unless another date, time or place is agreed to in writing by the
Company and the Parent. The date of such Closing is referred to herein as the
"Closing Date".

      1.2 Effective Time.  As promptly as practicable after the satisfaction or
          --------------                                                      
waiver of the conditions set forth in Articles VIII and IX, the parties hereto
shall cause the Merger to be consummated by filing a certificate of merger as
contemplated by the DGCL in the form of Exhibit B hereto (the "Certificate of
                                        ---------                           
Merger"), together with any required related certificates, with the Secretary of
State of the State of Delaware, in such form as required by, and executed in
accordance with the relevant provisions of, the DGCL (the time of such filing
being the "Effective Time").

      1.3 Effect of the Merger.  At the Effective Time, the effect of the Merger
          --------------------                                                 
shall be as provided in this Agreement, the Certificate of Merger and the
applicable provisions of the DGCL.  Without limiting the generality of the
foregoing, and subject thereto, at the Effective Time all the property, rights,
privileges, powers and franchises of the Company and Acquisition shall vest in
the Surviving Corporation, and all debts, liabilities and duties of the Company
and Acquisition shall become the debts, liabilities and duties of the Surviving
Corporation.

      1.4 Certificate of Incorporation; By-Laws.
          -------------------------------------

          (a) Certificate of Incorporation.  Unless otherwise determined by the
              ----------------------------                                    
Parent prior to the Effective Time, at the Effective Time, the Certificate of
Incorporation of Acquisition, as in effect immediately prior to the Effective
Time, shall be the Certificate of Incorporation of the Surviving Corporation
until thereafter amended in accordance with the DGCL and such Certificate of
Incorporation.

          (b) By-Laws.  Unless otherwise determined by the Parent prior to the
              -------                                                        
Effective Time, the By-Laws of Acquisition, as in effect immediately prior to
the Effective Time, shall be the By-Laws of the Surviving Corporation until
thereafter amended in accordance with the DGCL, the Certificate of Incorporation
of the Surviving Corporation and such By-Laws.

      1.5 Directors and Officers.  The directors of Acquisition immediately
          ----------------------                                          
prior to the Effective Time shall be the initial directors of the Surviving
Corporation, each to hold office in accordance with the Certificate of
Incorporation and By-Laws of the Surviving Corporation, and the officers of
Acquisition immediately prior to the Effective Time shall be the initial
officers of the Surviving Corporation, in each case until their respective
successors are duly elected or appointed and qualified.

      1.6 Additional Actions.  If, at any time after the Effective Time, the
          ------------------                                               
Surviving Corporation shall consider or be advised that any deeds, bills of
sale, assignments, assurances or

                                      -2-
<PAGE>

any other acts or things are necessary or desirable to vest, perfect or confirm,
of record or otherwise, in the Surviving Corporation, its right, title or
interest in or to any of the rights, properties or assets of Acquisition or the
Company acquired or to be acquired by reason of, or as a result of, the Merger,
or otherwise to carry out the purposes of this Agreement, the Surviving
Corporation and its proper officers and directors shall be authorized to execute
and deliver, in the name and on behalf of Acquisition or the Company, all such
deeds, bills of sale, assignments and assurances and to do, in the name and on
behalf of Acquisition or the Company, all such other acts and things necessary
or desirable to vest, perfect or confirm any and all right, title or interest
in, to or under such rights, properties or assets in the Surviving Corporation
or otherwise to carry out the purposes of this Agreement.

                                  ARTICLE II

                      CONSIDERATION; CONVERSION OF SHARES

      2.1 Merger Consideration.  Except as set forth in Section 2.2(f) hereof,
          --------------------                                               
the consideration payable in the Merger to holders of shares of the Company's
Common Stock, par value $.01 per share ("Company Common Stock"), and shares of
each series of the Company's Preferred Stock, par value $.01 per share (the
"Company Preferred Stock" and, together with the Company Common Stock, the
"Company Stock"), shall consist solely of shares of the Common Stock, par value
$.01 per share, of the Parent ("Parent Common Stock"), such shares of Parent
Common Stock to be issuable at the Closing in accordance with the terms of this
Agreement.

      2.2 Conversion of Shares.
          --------------------

          (a) Conversion of Shares.  Each share of Company Stock  (treating all
              --------------------                                            
shares of Company Preferred Stock has having been converted, as of the Effective
Time, into shares of Company Common Stock at the respective conversion ratios
therefor) issued and outstanding as of the Effective Time (other than shares
owned by holders who have properly exercised their rights of appraisal within
the meaning of Section 262 of the DGCL ("Dissenting Shares")) shall, by virtue
of the Merger and without any action on the part of the holder thereof,
automatically be converted into that number of shares of Parent Common Stock as
shall be obtained by dividing (A) 1,570,552 (the "Merger Consideration") minus
                                                                         -----
the Expense Shares (as defined in Section 7.6) by (B) the number of Fully
Diluted Shares (as hereinafter defined), with the resulting quotient (carried to
two decimal places) being referred to herein as the "Exchange Ratio."  "Fully
Diluted Shares" shall be equal to the total number of outstanding shares of
Company Common Stock calculated on a fully diluted, fully converted basis as
though all convertible debt and equity securities (including the Company
Preferred Stock) and options (whether vested or unvested) and warrants had been
converted or exercised.  Subject to Section 2.7, the Exchange Ratio shall not
change as a result of fluctuations in the market price of Parent Common Stock
between the date of this Agreement and the Effective Time.  The aggregate number
of shares of Parent Common Stock issued pursuant to this Section 2.2(a) shall be
referred to in this Agreement as the "Merger Shares."

                                      -3-
<PAGE>

         (b) Treasury Shares.  Each share of Company Common Stock held in the
             ---------------                                                
Company's treasury as of the Effective Time, if any, shall, by virtue of the
Merger, be canceled without payment of any consideration therefor.

         (c) Stock Options.  At the Effective Time, the outstanding options to
             -------------                                                   
purchase an aggregate of 58,731 shares of Company Common Stock (each a "Stock
Option") granted under the Company's 1995 Stock Option Plan (the "Company Stock
Option Plan"), whether vested or unvested, shall be deemed assumed by the Parent
and deemed to constitute an option to acquire, on the same terms and conditions
as were applicable under such Stock Option prior to the Effective Time
(including terms and conditions relating to such Stock Option's term,
exercisability, vesting schedule and status as an "incentive stock option" under
Section 422 of the Code), the number (rounded down to the nearest whole number)
of shares of Parent Common Stock equal to the aggregate of that number of shares
of Parent Common Stock (based on the Exchange Ratio) as the holder of such Stock
Option would have been entitled to receive pursuant to the Merger had such
holder exercised such Option in full immediately prior to the Effective Time
(not taking into account whether or not such Option was in fact exercisable).
The exercise price for such Stock Options shall be the price per share equal to
(x) the aggregate exercise price for Company Common Stock otherwise purchasable
pursuant to such Stock Option divided by (y) the number of shares of Parent
Common Stock deemed purchasable pursuant to such Stock Option (the exercise
price per share, so determined, being rounded up to the nearest full cent). No
payment shall be made for fractional shares.  The aggregate number of shares of
Parent Common Stock issuable upon the exercise of Options assumed by Parent
pursuant to this Section 2.2(c) shall be referred to in this Agreement as the
"Option Shares."  Any adjustment to an incentive stock option made under this
Section 2.2(c) shall comply with Section 424(a) of the Code.

     (d) Warrants.  At the Effective Time, each outstanding warrant to purchase
         --------                                                             
Company Stock (each, a "Warrant" and collectively the "Warrants") shall, by
virtue of the Merger and without any further action on the part of the Company
or the holder of any of Warrants (unless further action may be required by the
terms of any of the Warrants), be assumed by Parent and each Warrant assumed by
Parent shall be exercisable upon the same terms and conditions as under the
applicable warrant agreements with respect to such Warrants, except that (A)
each such Warrant shall be exercisable for that whole number of shares of Parent
Common Stock (rounded down to the nearest whole share) into which the number of
shares of Company Stock subject to such Warrant would be converted under Section
2.2(a) and (B) the exercise price per share of Parent Common Stock shall be
equal to (x) the aggregate exercise price for the Company Stock subject to such
Warrant in effect immediately prior to the Effective Time divided by (y) the
number of shares of Parent Common Stock deemed purchasable pursuant to such
Warrant (the exercise price per share, so determined, being rounded down to the
nearest full cent).  From and after the Effective Time, all references to the
Company in the warrant agreement underlying the Warrants shall be deemed to
refer to Parent.  Parent further agrees that if required under the terms of the
Warrants it will execute a supplemental agreement with the holders of the
Warrants to effectuate the foregoing.  No payment shall be made for fractional
shares.  The aggregate number

                                      -4-
<PAGE>

of shares of Parent Common Stock issuable upon the exercise of Warrants assumed
by Parent pursuant to this Section 2.2(d) shall be referred to in this Agreement
as the "Warrant Shares."

          (e) Acquisition Shares.  Each share of common stock, par value $0.01
              ------------------                                             
per share, of Acquisition issued and outstanding at the Effective Time shall, by
virtue of the Merger and without any action on the part of the holder thereof,
automatically be converted into one fully paid and nonassessable share of common
stock of the Surviving Corporation, as such shares of common stock are
constituted immediately following the Effective Time.

          (f) Dissenting Shares.  Any Dissenting Shares shall be converted into
              -----------------                                               
the right to receive from the Surviving Corporation such consideration as may be
determined to be due with respect to each such Dissenting Share pursuant to
Section 262 of the DGCL; provided, however, Shares that are Dissenting Shares at
                         --------  -------                                     
the Effective Time of the Merger and are held by a holder who shall, after the
Effective Time of the Merger, withdraw his demand for appraisal or lose his
right of appraisal as provided in the Section 262 of the DGCL, shall be deemed
to be converted, as of the Effective Time of the Merger, into the right to
receive the Merger Shares in accordance with the procedures specified in Section
2.3.  The Company shall give Parent (i) prompt notice of any written demands for
appraisal, withdrawals of demands for appraisal and any other instruments served
pursuant to Section 262 of the DGCL received by the Company and (ii) the
opportunity to direct all negotiations and proceedings with respect to demands
for appraisal under Section 262 of the DGCL.  The Company will not voluntarily
make any payment with respect to any demands for appraisal and will not, except
with the prior written consent of Parent, settle or offer to settle any such
demands.  It is understood and agreed that the obligation to make any payment
under Section 262 of the DGCL shall be exclusively that of the Surviving
Corporation and that Parent shall be under no obligation to perform and
discharge any such obligation or to reimburse or make any contribution to the
capital of the Surviving Corporation to enable it to perform and discharge any
such obligation.

      2.3 Exchange of Certificates.
          ------------------------

          (a) From and after the Effective Time, each holder of an outstanding
certificate or certificates (the "Certificates") which represented shares of
Company Common Stock or Company Preferred Stock immediately prior to the
Effective Time shall have the right to surrender each Certificate to Parent, and
receive in exchange for all Certificates held by such holder a certificate
representing the number of whole shares of Parent Common Stock (other than the
Escrow Shares (as defined below)) into which the Company Common Stock or Company
Preferred Stock evidenced by the Certificates so surrendered shall have been
converted pursuant to Section 2.2(a) of this Agreement.  The surrender of
Certificates shall be accompanied by duly completed and executed Letters of
Transmittal in the form of Exhibit C attached hereto.  Until surrendered, each
                           ---------                                         
outstanding Certificate which prior to the Effective Time represented shares of
Company Common Stock or Company Preferred Stock shall be deemed for all
corporate purposes to evidence ownership of the number of whole shares of Parent
Common Stock into which the shares of Company Common Stock or Company Preferred
Stock have been converted

                                      -5-
<PAGE>

but shall, subject to applicable appraisal rights under the DGCL and Section
2.2(f), have no other rights. Subject to appraisal rights under the DGCL and
Section 2.2(f), from and after the Effective Time, the holders of shares of
Company Common Stock or Company Preferred Stock shall cease to have any rights
in respect of such shares and their rights shall be solely in respect of the
Parent Common Stock into which such shares of Company Common Stock or Company
Preferred Stock have been converted.

          (b) If any shares of Parent Common Stock are to be issued in the name
of a person other than the person in whose name the Certificate(s) surrendered
in exchange therefor is registered, it shall be a condition to the issuance of
such shares that (i) the Certificate(s) so surrendered shall be transferable,
and shall be properly assigned, endorsed or accompanied by appropriate stock
powers, (ii) such transfer shall otherwise be proper and (iii) the person
requesting such transfer shall pay Parent, or its exchange agent, any transfer
or other taxes payable by reason of the foregoing or establish to the
satisfaction of Parent that such taxes have been paid or are not required to be
paid.  Notwithstanding the foregoing, neither Parent or the Company shall be
liable to a holder of shares of Company Common Stock or Company Preferred Stock
for shares of Parent or the Company issuable to such holder pursuant to the
provisions of Section 2.2(a) of this Agreement that are delivered to a public
official pursuant to applicable abandoned property, escheat or similar laws.

          (c) In the event any Certificate shall have been lost, stolen or
destroyed, upon the making of an affidavit of that fact by the person claiming
such Certificate to be lost, stolen or destroyed, Parent shall issue in exchange
for such lost, stolen or destroyed Certificate the shares of Parent Common Stock
issuable in exchange therefor pursuant to the provisions of Section 2.2(a) of
this Agreement.  The Board of Directors of Parent may in its discretion and as a
condition precedent to the issuance thereof, require the owner of such lost,
stolen or destroyed Certificate to provide to Parent an indemnity agreement
against any claim that may be made against Parent with respect to the
Certificate alleged to have been lost, stolen or destroyed.

      2.4 No Fractional Securities.  No fractional shares of Parent Common Stock
          ------------------------                                             
shall be issuable by the Parent upon the conversion of shares of Company Common
Stock or the Company Preferred Stock in the Merger pursuant to Section 2.2(a)
hereof.  In lieu of any such fractional shares, each holder of Company Common
Stock or Company Preferred Stock who would otherwise have been entitled to
receive a fraction of a share of Parent Common Stock shall be entitled to
receive instead an amount in cash equal to such fraction multiplied by the
Closing Market Price (as defined below).

      2.5 Stock Transfer Books.  At the Effective Time, the stock transfer books
          --------------------                                                 
of the Company shall be closed, and there shall be no further registration of
transfers of Company Stock or Company Preferred Stock thereafter on the records
of the Company.

      2.6 No Further Ownership Rights in Company Stock.  The Merger Shares
          --------------------------------------------                   
delivered upon the surrender for exchange of shares of Company Stock in
accordance with the terms hereof

                                      -6-
<PAGE>

shall be deemed to have been issued in full satisfaction of all rights
pertaining to such shares, and there shall be no further registration of
transfers on the records of the Surviving Corporation of shares of Company Stock
which were outstanding immediately prior to the Effective Time. If, after the
Effective Time, certificates are presented to the Surviving Corporation for any
reason, they shall be canceled and exchanged as provided in this Article II.

      2.7 Adjustment Event.  (a)  In the event that at the Effective Time the
          ----------------                                                  
Closing Market Price (as defined below) is greater than $44.83 or less than
$36.68, then the number of shares of Parent Common Stock constituting the Merger
Consideration shall be adjusted as follows:

               (i)      If the Closing Market Price is greater than $44.83, then
the number of shares of Parent Common Stock constituting the Merger
Consideration shall be reduced to an amount obtained by dividing (A) the product
of (x) 1,570,552 multiplied by (y) $44.83 by (B) the Closing Market Price.

               (ii)     If the Closing Market Price is less than $36.68, then
the number of shares of Parent Common Stock constituting the Merger
Consideration shall be increased to an amount obtained by dividing (A) the
product of (x) 1,570,552 multiplied by (y) $36.68 by (B) the Closing Market
Price.

               (iii)    Upon any adjustment to the Merger Consideration under
clause (i) or (ii) above, the Exchange Ratio shall be adjusted to an amount
obtained by dividing the Merger Consideration, as adjusted as provided in clause
(i) or (ii) above, minus the Expense Shares (as defined in Section 7.6), by the
                   -----                                                      
number of Fully Diluted Shares.

               (iv)     For purposes of this Agreement, the term "Closing Market
Price" shall mean the average of the last quoted sale price for shares of Parent
Common Stock on The Nasdaq National Market for each of the twenty trading days
preceding the third trading day prior to the Effective Time.

          (b)  If, between the date hereof and the Effective Time, the issued
and outstanding shares of Parent Common Stock shall have been combined, split,
reclassified or otherwise changed into a different number of shares or a
different class of shares, an appropriate adjustment to the Exchange Ratio shall
be made to fully reflect such change in such manner as is reasonably acceptable
to the Parent and the Company. In addition, during the period beginning on the
date of this Agreement and ending on the earlier of the termination of this
Agreement and the Effective Time, Parent shall not, without the prior written
consent of the Company, declare or pay any dividend or distribution on Parent
Common Stock unless prior thereto either (i) Parent shall have provided that
holders of Company Stock, upon the Effective Time, shall receive such dividend
or distribution to the same extent they would have had their shares of Company
Stock been converted into shares of Parent Common Stock immediately prior to the
record date of any such dividend or distribution, or (ii) Parent and the Company
shall have mutually agreed upon an adjustment of the Exchange Ratio to fully
reflect the effect of any such dividend or distribution.

                                      -7-
<PAGE>

      2.8 Escrow.  At the Effective Time, Parent will deposit in escrow
          ------                                                      
certificates representing ten percent (10%) of the Merger Shares (which shall
reduce on a pro rata basis the Merger Shares otherwise issuable to the Holders
of Company Stock under Section 2.2(a)) registered in the name of State Street
Bank and Trust Company, as Escrow Agent, and instruments or other documentation
representing Stock Options to purchase ten percent (10%) of the Option Shares
and Warrants to purchase ten percent (10%) of the Warrant Shares issuable to
each Holder under Section 2.2(c) or 2.2(d), as the case may be (collectively,
the "Escrow Shares").  The Escrow Shares shall be held as security for the
indemnification obligations under Article XI pursuant to the provisions of an
Escrow Agreement (the "Escrow Agreement ") in the form of Exhibit D attached
                                                          ---------        
hereto.

      2.9 Tax Consequences.  For Federal income tax purposes, the Merger is
          ----------------                                                
intended to constitute a reorganization within the meaning of Section 368(a) of
the Code, and that this Agreement shall constitute a "plan of reorganization"
within the meaning of Section 368(a) of the Code.

                                  ARTICLE III

                     REPRESENTATIONS AND WARRANTIES OF THE
                    COMPANY AND THE PRINCIPAL SHAREHOLDERS

     The Company and each of the Principal Shareholders jointly and severally
represent and warrant to the Parent and Acquisition as set forth below, subject
to the exceptions set forth in the disclosure schedules attached hereto (the
"Disclosure Schedules"), the section numbers and letters of which correspond to
the section and subsection numbers and letters of this Agreement.
Notwithstanding anything to the contrary contained in this Agreement, any
information disclosed in one section of the Disclosure Schedules shall, should
the existence of the information be relevant to any other section of the
Disclosure Schedules, be deemed to be disclosed in all sections of the
Disclosure Schedules, but only to the extent that the relevance of such
information to such other section is readily apparent in the section of the
Disclosure Schedules on which such information is disclosed.  The disclosure of
any information shall not be deemed to constitute an acknowledgment that such
information is required to be disclosed in connection with the representations
and warranties made by the Company in this Agreement or that it is material, nor
shall such information be deemed to establish a standard of materiality

      3.1 Corporate Organization.  (a) The Company is a corporation duly
          ----------------------                                       
organized, validly existing and in good standing under the laws of the State of
Delaware.  The Company has no Subsidiaries (as that term is hereinafter
defined).  The Company has all requisite corporate power and authority to own,
operate and lease the properties and assets it now owns, operates and leases and
to carry on its business as presently conducted.  The Company  is duly qualified
to transact business as a foreign corporation and in good standing in the
jurisdictions set forth in Schedule 3.1, which are the only jurisdictions where
such qualification is required by reason of the nature of the properties and
assets currently owned, operated or leased by the Company or the

                                      -8-
<PAGE>

business currently conducted by it, except for such jurisdictions where the
failure to be so qualified would not have a Tripod Material Adverse Effect (as
defined below). The Company has previously delivered to the Parent complete and
correct copies of its Certificate of Incorporation (certified by the secretary
of state of the jurisdiction in which it was formed as of a recent date) and its
By-Laws (certified by the Secretary of the Company as of a recent date). Except
as set forth in Schedule 3.1, neither the Certificate of Incorporation nor the
By-Laws of the Company have been amended since the respective dates of
certification thereof, nor has any action been taken for the purpose of
effecting any amendment of such instruments. The term "Tripod Material Adverse
Effect" means, for purposes of this Agreement, any change, event or effect that
is, or that would be, materially adverse to the business, operations, assets,
liabilities, financial condition or results of operations of the Company;
provided, however, that a Tripod Material Adverse Effect shall not include any
adverse effect following the date of this Agreement that is attributable to the
Merger or the announcement of the Merger or that is due to any material economic
downturn in the Internet industry or any material national economic downturn.

      3.2 Authorization.  The Company has full corporate power and authority to
          -------------                                                       
enter into this Agreement and to consummate the transactions contemplated
hereby.  The execution and delivery of this Agreement and the consummation of
the transactions contemplated hereby have been duly approved by the Board of
Directors of the Company, and no other corporate action on the part of the
Company is necessary to approve and authorize the execution and delivery of this
Agreement or (subject to the approval of this Agreement and the transactions
contemplated hereby by the Holders which will be obtained in the manner set
forth in Section 7.2 hereof and the filing of the Certificate of Merger pursuant
to the DGCL) the consummation of the transactions contemplated hereby.  This
Agreement has been duly executed and delivered by the Company and constitutes
the valid and binding agreement of the Company, enforceable in accordance with
its terms, except to the extent that enforceability may be limited by applicable
bankruptcy, reorganization, insolvency, moratorium or other laws affecting the
enforcement of creditors, rights generally and by general principles of equity,
regardless of whether such enforceability is considered in a proceeding in law
or in equity.

      3.3 Consents and Approvals; No Violations.  Subject to the filing of the
          -------------------------------------                              
Certificate of Merger with the Secretary of State of the State of Delaware and
compliance with applicable federal and state securities laws, the execution and
delivery of this Agreement and the consummation of the transactions contemplated
hereby will not: (i) violate or conflict with any provision of the Certificate
of Incorporation or By-Laws of the Company, (ii) breach, violate or constitute
an event of default (or an event which with the lapse of time or the giving of
notice or both would constitute an event of default) under, give rise to any
right of termination, cancellation, modification or acceleration under, or
require any consent or the giving of any notice under, any note, bond,
indenture, mortgage, security agreement, lease, license, franchise, permit,
agreement or other instrument or obligation to which the Company is a party, or
by which the Company or any of its properties or assets may be bound, or result
in the creation of any lien, claim or encumbrance or other right of any third
party of any kind whatsoever upon the properties or assets of the Company
pursuant to the terms of any such instrument or obligation,

                                      -9-
<PAGE>

other than any breach, violation, default, termination, cancellation,
modification or acceleration which would not have a Tripod Material Adverse
Effect, (iii) violate or conflict with any law, statute, ordinance, code, rule,
regulation, judgment, order, writ, injunction, decree or other instrument of any
Federal, state, local or foreign court or governmental or regulatory body,
agency or authority applicable to the Company or by which any of its properties
or assets may be bound, except for such violations and conflicts which would not
have a Tripod Material Adverse Effect or result in a fine or penalty in excess
of $10,000 individually or in the aggregate or (iv) require, on the part of the
Company, any filing or registration with, or permit, license, exemption,
consent, authorization or approval of, or the giving of any notice to, any
governmental or regulatory body, agency or authority, other than any filing,
registration, permit, license, exemption, consent, authorization, approval or
notice which if not obtained or made would not have a Tripod Material Adverse
Effect or result in a fine or penalty in excess of $10,000 individually or in
the aggregate. Without limiting the generality of clause (ii) above, except for
the finder's agreements described in Section 13.7 hereof, neither the Company
nor any of the Holders is a party to any agreement, arrangement or understanding
which contemplates the sale of the business of the Company, in whole or in part,
whether by means of a sale of shares, sale of assets, merger, consolidation or
otherwise.

      3.4 Capitalization.
          --------------

          (a)  The authorized capital stock of the Company consists of 1,000,000
shares of Company Common Stock, of which 84,720 shares are issued and
outstanding and 500,000 shares of Company Preferred Stock, of which 27,000
shares of Series A Convertible Preferred Stock, 26,500 shares of Series B
Convertible Preferred Stock, 15,525 shares of Series C Convertible Preferred
Stock, 40,669 shares of Series D Convertible Preferred Stock and 199,203 shares
of Series E Convertible Preferred Stock are issued and outstanding.  Schedule
3.4(a) sets forth a complete and correct list of the record ownership of the
issued and outstanding shares of Company Stock.  All of the issued and
outstanding shares of Company Stock were duly authorized and validly issued and
are fully paid and nonassessable, and were not issued in violation of any
preemptive rights or Federal or state securities laws.  Except as disclosed in
Schedule 3.4(a) hereto, the Company has never repurchased or redeemed any shares
of its capital stock, and there are no amounts owed or which may be owed to any
person by the Company as a result of any repurchase or redemption of shares of
its capital stock.  Except as disclosed in Schedule 3.4(a) hereto, there are no
agreements, arrangements or understandings to which the Company is a party or by
which it is bound to redeem or repurchase any shares of its capital stock.
Except as set forth in Schedule 3.4(a), there are no outstanding options,
warrants or other rights to purchase, or any securities convertible into or
exchangeable for, shares of the capital stock of the Company, and there are no
agreements, arrangements or understandings to which the Company is a party or by
which it is bound pursuant to which the Company is or may be required to issue
additional shares of its capital stock.

          (b)  The Company does not own, directly or indirectly, any equity
securities, or options, warrants or other rights to acquire equity securities,
or securities convertible into or

                                      -10-
<PAGE>

exchangeable for equity securities, of any other corporation, or any partnership
interest in any general or limited partnership or unincorporated joint venture
(a "Subsidiary").

      3.5 Financial Statements.  Attached hereto as Schedule 3.5 are the balance
          --------------------                                                 
sheets of the Company as of December 31, 1997, October 31, 1997, December 31,
1996, and December 31, 1995 and the statements of income and statements of cash
flows of the Company for the fiscal years or periods then ended, including the
notes thereto (hereinafter collectively referred to as the "Financial
Statements").  The Financial Statements (i) have been prepared from the books
and records of the Company, (ii) have been prepared in accordance with generally
accepted accounting principles consistently applied (except as may be expressly
indicated therein or on the face of the schedules or notes to such Financial
Statements) during the periods covered thereby and (iii) present fairly in all
material respects the financial condition, results of operations and cash flows
of the Company as at the dates, and for the periods, stated therein, except that
the Financial Statements are subject to normal year-end adjustments which will
not be individually or in the aggregate material in amount or effect and do not
include footnotes.

      3.6 Absence of Undisclosed Liabilities.  Except (i) as set forth or
          ----------------------------------                            
reserved against in the balance sheet of the Company dated as of October 31,
1997, included in the Financial Statements (the "Balance Sheet"), (ii) for
obligations incurred since October 31, 1997 in the ordinary course of business,
which are not individually or in the aggregate, material in amount, and (iii) as
set forth in Schedule 3.6, the Company does not have any liabilities or
obligations of any nature, whether accrued, absolute, contingent or otherwise.

      3.7 Absence of Certain Changes or Events.  Except as set forth in Schedule
          ------------------------------------                                 
3.7, since October 31, 1997, the Company has carried on its business in the
ordinary course and consistent with past practice.  Except as set forth on
Schedule 3.7 hereto, since October 31, 1997, the Company has not: (i) incurred
any material obligation or liability (whether absolute, accrued, contingent or
otherwise) except in the ordinary course of business and consistent with past
practice; (ii) experienced any Tripod Material Adverse Effect; (iii) made any
change in any accounting principle or practice or in its methods of applying any
such principle or practice; (iv) suffered any material damage, destruction or
loss, whether or not covered by insurance, affecting its properties, assets or
business; (v) mortgaged, pledged or subjected to any lien, charge or other
encumbrance, or granted to third parties any rights in, any of its assets,
tangible or intangible; (vi) sold or transferred any of its assets, except in
the ordinary course of business and consistent with past practice, or canceled
or compromised any debts or waived any claims or rights of a material nature;
(vii) issued any additional shares of capital stock or any rights, options or
warrants to purchase, or securities convertible into or exchangeable for, shares
of its capital stock other than shares of Company Common Stock issued upon
exercise of employee stock options; (viii) declared or paid any dividends on or
made any distributions (however characterized) in respect of shares of its
capital stock; (ix) repurchased or redeemed any shares of its capital stock; (x)
granted any general or specific increase in the compensation payable or to
become payable to any of their Employees (as that term is hereinafter defined)
or any bonus or service award or other like benefit, or instituted, increased,
augmented or improved any Benefit

                                      -11-
<PAGE>

Plan (as that term is hereinafter defined); or (xi) entered into any agreement
to do any of the foregoing.

      3.8 Legal Proceedings, etc.  Except as set forth in Schedule 3.8 hereto,
          -----------------------                                            
there are no suits, actions, claims, proceedings (including, without limitation,
arbitral or administrative proceedings) or investigations pending or, to the
best knowledge of the Company or any Principal Shareholder, threatened against
the Company or its properties, assets or business or, to the best knowledge of
the Company or any Principal Shareholder, pending or threatened against any of
the officers, directors, employees, agents or consultants of the Company in
connection with the business of the Company.  There are no such suits, actions,
claims, proceedings or investigations pending, or, to the best knowledge of the
Company or any Principal Shareholder, threatened challenging the validity or
propriety of the transactions contemplated by this Agreement.  There is no
judgment, order, injunction, decree or award (whether issued by a court, an
arbitrator or an administrative agency) to which the Company is a party, or
involving the Company's properties, assets or business, which is unsatisfied or
which requires continuing compliance therewith by the Company.

      3.9 Taxes.
          -----

          (a)  Except as set forth in Schedule 3.9, the Company has duly and
timely filed, or will duly and in a timely manner file, all material Tax returns
and other filings in respect of Taxes (as that term is hereinafter defined)
required to be filed by it or which are required to be filed by it on or prior
to the Effective Time, and have in a timely manner paid (or will in a timely
manner pay) all material Taxes which are (or will be) due for all periods ending
on or before the Effective Time, whether or not shown on such returns.  All such
Tax returns have been, or will be when filed, accurately and completely prepared
in all material respects in compliance with all laws, rules and regulations.
The provisions for Taxes payable reflected in the Financial Statements are
adequate under generally accepted accounting principles.

          (b)  Except as set forth in Schedule 3.9 hereto, there are no actions
or proceedings currently pending or, to the best knowledge of the Company or any
Principal Shareholder, threatened against the Company by any governmental
authority for the assessment or collection of Taxes, no claim for the assessment
or collection of Taxes has been asserted against the Company, and there are no
matters under discussion with any governmental authority regarding claims for
the assessment or collection of Taxes.  Any Taxes that have been claimed or
imposed as a result of any examinations of any tax return of the Company by any
governmental authority are being contested in good faith and have been disclosed
in writing to the Parent. Except as set forth in Schedule 3.9, there are no
agreements or applications by the Company for an extension of time for the
assessment or payment of any Taxes nor any waiver of the statute of limitations
in respect of Taxes.  There are no Tax liens on any of the assets of the
Company, except for liens for Taxes not yet due or payable that are being
contested in good faith in appropriate proceedings.

                                      -12-
<PAGE>

           (c)  For purposes of this Agreement, the terms "Tax" and "Taxes"
shall mean and include any and all United States, state, local, foreign or other
income, sales, use, withholding, employment, payroll, social security, property
taxes and all other taxes of any kind, deficiencies, fees or other governmental
charges, including, without limitation, any installment payment for taxes and
contributions or other amounts determined with respect to compensation paid to
directors, officers, employees or independent contractors from time to time
imposed by or required to be paid to any governmental authority (including
penalties and additions to tax thereon, penalties for failure to file a return
or report, and interest on any of the foregoing).

           (d)  The Company has not, with regard to any assets or property held,
acquired or to be acquired by the Company, filed a consent to the application of
Section 341(f) of the Code.

           (e)  None of the Holders is a foreign person within the meaning of
Section 1445 of the Code and the Treasury Regulations promulgated thereunder.

           (f)  There is no agreement, plan or arrangement covering any employee
or independent contractor or former employee or independent contractor of the
Company that, considered individually or considered collectively with any other
such agreement, plan or arrangement, will, or could reasonably be expected to,
give rise directly or indirectly to the payment of any amount that would not be
deductible pursuant to Section 280G of the Code or that would be subject to an
excise tax under Section 4999 of the Code.

           (g)  The Company is not and has never been a party to or bound by any
tax indemnity agreement, tax sharing agreement, tax allocation agreement or
similar agreement or arrangement and none of them has any liability for Taxes of
any person (other than the Company) under Treasury Regulation 1.1502-6 (or any
similar provision of state, local or foreign law).

           (h)  The Company has withheld amounts from its employees and other
persons required to be withheld under the tax, social security, unemployment and
other withholding provisions of all federal, state, local and foreign laws.

      3.10 Title to Properties and Related Matters.  (a) Except as set forth
           ---------------------------------------                         
on Schedule 3.10(a), the Company has good and valid title to all personal
property, tangible or intangible, which the Company purports to own, including
the properties reflected on the Balance Sheet or acquired after the date thereof
(other than properties and assets sold or otherwise disposed of in the ordinary
course of business and consistent with past practice since October 31, 1997),
free and clear of any claims, liens, pledges, security interests or encumbrances
of any kind whatsoever (other than (i) purchase money security interests and
common law vendor's liens, in each case for goods purchased on open account in
the ordinary course of business and having a fair market value of less than
$10,000 in each individual case), (ii) liens for Taxes not yet due and payable,
and (iii) such imperfections of title and encumbrances, if any, that are not
material

                                      -13-
<PAGE>

in character, amount or extent and that do not materially detract from the
value, or materially interfere with the use of, the property subject thereto or
affected thereby.

             (b)  The Company does not own any real property or any interest in
real property, except for the leasehold created under the lease referred to in
Schedule 3.10(d).

             (c)  Schedule 3.10(c) sets forth a complete and correct list of all
equipment, machinery, instruments, vehicles, furniture, fixtures and other items
of personal property currently owned, leased or used by the Company with a book
value as of December 31, 1997, in each case of $10,000 or more.  All such
personal property is in satisfactory operating condition (ordinary and
reasonable wear and tear excepted), is physically located in or about one of the
Company's places of business and is owned by the Company or is leased by the
Company under one of the leases set forth in Schedule 3.10(d). Except as
disclosed in Schedule 3.10(c), none of such personal property is subject to any
agreement or commitment for its use by any person other than the Company.  The
maintenance and operation of such personal property is appropriate for personal
property of such nature and is and has been in material conformance with all
applicable laws and regulations, except as would not have a Tripod Material
Adverse Effect or result in a fine or penalty in excess of $10,000 individually
or in the aggregate.  There are no assets leased by the Company or used in the
business of the Company that are owned, directly or indirectly, by any Related
Person (as that term is hereinafter defined).

             (d)  Schedule 3.10(d) sets forth a complete and correct list of all
real property and personal property leases to which the Company is a party.  The
Company has previously delivered to the Parent complete and correct copies of
each lease (and any amendments or supplements thereto) listed in Schedule
3.10(d). Except as set forth in Schedule 3.10(d), (i) each such lease is valid
and binding and in full force and effect; (ii) neither the Company nor (to the
best knowledge of the Company or any Principal Shareholder) any other party is
in default under any such lease, and no event has occurred which constitutes, or
with the lapse of time or the giving of notice or both would constitute, a
default by the Company or (to the best knowledge of the Company or any Principal
Shareholder) a default by any other party under such lease; (iii) to the best
knowledge of the Company or any Principal Shareholder, there are no disputes or
disagreements between the Company and any other party with respect to any such
lease; and (iv) the lessor under each such lease has consented or been given
notice (or prior to the Closing shall have consented or been given notice),
where such consent or the giving of such notice is necessary, sufficient that
such lease shall remain in full force and effect following the consummation of
the transactions contemplated by this Agreement without requiring modification
in the rights or obligations of the lessee under any such lease.

      3.11   Intellectual Property; Proprietary Rights; Employee Restrictions.
             --------------------------------------------------------------- 
(a) The Company has disclosed in Schedule 3.11 all registered copyrights,
copyright registrations and copyright applications, trademark registrations and
applications for registration, patents and patent applications, trademarks,
service marks, trade names, or Internet domain names (collectively,
"Intellectual Property Rights") used by the Company in the Company's business as

                                      -14-
<PAGE>

presently conducted, including all Intellectual Property Rights used in
connection with or contained in all versions of the Company's World Wide Web
sites (including www.tripod.com) and all licenses, assignments and releases of
Intellectual Property Rights of others in material works embodied in its
products.  All Intellectual Property Rights purported to be owned by the Company
held by any employee, officer or consultant are owned by the Company by
operation of law or have been validly assigned to the Company.  The Intellectual
Property Rights are sufficient to carry on the business of the Company as
presently conducted.  The Company has exclusive ownership of or license to use
all Intellectual Property Rights identified in Schedule 3.11 or has obtained any
licenses, releases or assignments reasonably necessary to use all third parties'
Intellectual Property Rights in works embodied in its products.  The present
business activities or products of the Company do not infringe any Intellectual
Property Rights of others, except as would not have a Tripod Material Adverse
Effect or result in a liability, fine or penalty in excess of $10,000
individually or in the aggregate.  The Company has not received any notice or
other claim from any person asserting that any of the Company's present
activities infringe or may infringe any Intellectual Property Rights of such
person.

          The Company has the right to use all trade secrets, customer lists,
hardware designs, programming processes, software and other information required
for or incident to its products or its business as presently conducted or
contemplated.  The Company has taken all reasonable measures to protect and
preserve the security and confidentiality of its trade secrets and other
confidential information.  All employees and consultants of the Company involved
in the design, review, evaluation or development of products or Intellectual
Property Rights have executed nondisclosure and assignment of inventions
agreements sufficient to protect the confidentiality of the Company's trade
secrets and other confidential information and to vest in the Company exclusive
ownership of such Intellectual Property Rights.  To the best knowledge of the
Company and the Principal Shareholders, all trade secrets and other confidential
information of the Company are not part of the public domain or knowledge, nor,
to the best knowledge of the Company and the Principal Shareholders, have they
been misappropriated by any person having an obligation to maintain such trade
secrets or other confidential information in confidence for the Company.  To the
best knowledge of the Company and the Principal Shareholders, no employee or
consultant of the Company has used any trade secrets or other confidential
information of any other person in the course of their work for the Company.

          The Company is the exclusive owner of all right, title and interest in
its Intellectual Property Rights as purported to be owned by the Company, and to
the Company's and the Principal Shareholders' best knowledge, such Intellectual
Property Rights are valid and in full force and effect.  No university,
government agency (whether federal or state) or other organization which
sponsored research and development conducted by the Company or has any claim of
right to or ownership of or other encumbrance upon the Intellectual Property
Rights of the Company.  The Company is not aware of any infringement by others
of its copyrights or other Intellectual Proprietary Rights in any of its
products, technology or services, or any violation of the confidentiality of any
of its proprietary information.  To the Company's and the

                                      -15-
<PAGE>

Principal Shareholders' knowledge, the Company is not making unlawful use of any
confidential information or trade secrets of any past or present employees of
the Company.

          Neither the Company nor, to the best knowledge of the Company and the
Principal Shareholders, any of the Company's employees, have any agreements or
arrangements with former employers of such employees relating to confidential
information or trade secrets of such employers or are bound by any consulting
agreement relating to confidential information or trade secrets of another
entity that are being violated by such persons.  The activities of the Company's
employees on behalf of the Company do not violate any agreements or arrangements
known to the Company which any such employees have with former employers or any
other entity to whom such employees may have rendered consulting services.  For
the purposes of this Section 3.11, Intellectual Property Rights also includes
any and all intellectual property rights, licenses, databases, computer programs
and other computer software user interfaces, know-how, trade secrets, customer
lists, proprietary technology, processes and formulae, source code, object code,
algorithms, architecture, structure, display screens, layouts, development
tools, instructions, templates, marketing materials created by the Company,
inventions, trade dress, logos and designs.

          (b) The Company has all franchises, permits, licenses and other rights
and privileges reasonably necessary to permit it to own its property and to
conduct its business as it is presently conducted other than any franchises,
permits, licenses and other rights and privileges which if not held by the
Company would not have a Tripod Material Adverse Effect or result in a fine or
penalty in excess of $10,000 individually or in the aggregate.

    3.12  Contracts.  (a)  Except as set forth in Schedule 3.12(a) (or in
          ---------                                                     
Schedule 3.10(d) or Schedule 3.13(a)), the Company is not a party to, or subject
to:

                 (i)   any contract, arrangement or understanding, or series of
related contracts, arrangements or understandings, which involves annual
expenditures or receipts by the Company of more than $25,000;

                 (ii)  any note, indenture, credit facility, mortgage, security
agreement or other contract, arrangement or understanding relating to or
evidencing indebtedness for money borrowed or a security interest or mortgage in
the assets of the Company;

                 (iii) any guaranty issued by the Company;

                 (iv)  any contract, arrangement or understanding relating to
the acquisition, issuance or transfer of any securities;

                 (v)   any contract, arrangement or understanding relating to
the acquisition, transfer, distribution, use, development, sharing or license of
any technology or

                                      -16-
<PAGE>

Intellectual Property Rights other than licenses granted in the ordinary course
of business with a term of less than one year;

                 (vi)   any contract, arrangement or understanding granting to
any person the right to use any property or property right of the Company other
than licenses granted in the ordinary course of business with a term of less
than one year;

                 (vii)  any contract, arrangement or understanding restricting
the Company's or any Subsidiary's right to (A) engage in any business activity
or compete with any business, or (B) develop or distribute any technology;

                 (viii) any contract, arrangement or understanding relating to
the employment of, or the performance of services of, any employee, consultant
or independent contractor and pursuant to which the Company is required to pay
more than $25,000 per year;

                 (ix)   any contract, arrangement or understanding with a
Related Person (as that term is hereinafter defined); or

                 (x)    any outstanding offer, commitment or obligation to enter
into any contract or arrangement of the nature described in subsections (i)
through (vi) of this subsection 3.12(a).

           (b)   The Company has previously made available for inspection and
copying to the Parent complete and correct copies (or, in the case of oral
contracts, a complete and correct description) of each contract (and any
amendments or supplements thereto) listed on Schedule 3.12(a). Except as set
forth in Schedule 3.12(b), (i) each contract listed in Schedule 3.12(a) is in
full force and effect; (ii) neither the Company nor (to the best knowledge of
the Company or any Principal Shareholder) any other party is in default under
any such contract, and no event has occurred which constitutes, or with the
lapse of time or the giving of notice or both would constitute, a default by the
Company or (to the best knowledge of the Company or any Principal Shareholder) a
default by any other party under such contract; (iii) to the best knowledge of
the Company or any Principal Shareholder, there are no disputes or disagreements
between the Company and any other party with respect to any such contract; and
(iv) each other party to each such contract has consented or been given notice
(or prior to the Closing shall have consented or been given notice), where such
consent or the giving of such notice is necessary, sufficient that such contract
shall remain in full force and effect following the consummation of the
transactions contemplated by this Agreement without modification in the rights
or obligations of the Company thereunder.

           (c)   Except as set forth in Schedule 3.12(c), all indebtedness of
the Company and its Subsidiaries for monies borrowed by the Company is
prepayable at any time at the option of the Company, without premium or penalty.

                                      -17-
<PAGE>

           (d)   Except as set forth and described in Schedule 3.12(d), the
Company has not issued any warranty or any agreement or commitment to indemnify
any person other than in the ordinary course of business.

     3.13  Employees; Employee Benefits.
           ----------------------------

           (a) Schedule 3.13(a) sets forth the names of all current employees of
the Company (the "Employees") and such Employee's job title, the location of
employment of such Employee, such Employee's current salary, the amount of any
bonuses or other compensation paid since December 31, 1996 to such Employee, the
date of employment of such Employee and the accrued vacation time of such
Employee.  The Company has accrued on its books and records all obligations for
salaries, benefits and other compensation with respect to its Employees and
former employees ("Former Employees"), to the extent required by generally
accepted accounting principles, including, but not limited to, vacation pay,
severance, bonuses, incentive and deferred compensation, and all commissions and
other fees payable to salespeople, sales representatives and other agents.
Schedule 3.13(a) hereto sets forth a true and correct statement of the
liability, if any, of the Company for accrued but unused sick pay.  Except as
set forth on Schedule 3.13(a) or as contemplated by Section 7.6 of this
Agreement, there are no outstanding loans from the Company to any officer,
director, employee, agent or consultant of the Company, or to any other Related
Person.  Schedule 3.13(a) hereto sets forth a complete and correct description
of all severance policies of the Company.  Complete and correct copies of all
written agreements with Employees and all employment policies, and all
amendments and supplements thereto, have previously been delivered or made
available to the Parent, and a list of all such agreements and policies is set
forth an Schedule 3.13(a).  None of the Employees has, to the best knowledge of
the Company or any Principal Shareholder, indicated a desire to terminate his or
her employment, or any intention to terminate his or her employment upon a sale
of, or business combination relating to, the Company or in connection with the
transactions contemplated by this Agreement.  Except as set forth on Schedule
3.13(a), since October 31, 1997, the Company has not (i) except in the ordinary
course of business and consistent with past practice, increased the salary or
other compensation payable or to become payable to or for the benefit of any of
the Employees, (ii) increased the term or tenure of employment for any Employee,
except in the ordinary course of business consistent with past practice, (iii)
increased the amounts payable to any of the Employees upon the termination of
any such person's employment or (iv) adopted, increased, augmented or improved
benefits granted to or for the benefit of any of the Employees under any Benefit
Plan.

           (b) Except as disclosed on Schedule 3.13(b), the Company has complied
in all material respects with Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as
amended, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, as amended, the Fair Labor
Standards Act, as amended, the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986, and
all applicable laws, rules and regulations governing payment of minimum wages
and overtime rates, the withholding and payment of taxes from compensation,
discriminatory practices with respect to employment and discharge, or otherwise
relating to the conduct of employers with respect to Employees or potential
employees,

                                      -18-
<PAGE>

except as would not have a Tripod Material Adverse Effect or result in a fine or
penalty in excess of $10,000 individually or in the aggregate, and there have
been no claims made or, to the best knowledge of the Company or any Principal
Shareholder, threatened thereunder against the Company arising out of, relating
to or alleging any violation of any of the foregoing. Except as disclosed in
Schedule 3.13(b), there are no material controversies, strikes, work stoppages,
picketing or disputes pending or, to the knowledge of the Company or any
Principal Shareholder, threatened between the Company and any of the Employees
or Former Employees; no labor union or other collective bargaining unit
represents or has ever represented any of the Employees, including any "leased
employees" (within the meaning of Section 414(n) of the Code); no organizational
effort by any labor union or other collective bargaining unit currently is under
way or, to the best knowledge of the Company or the Principal Shareholders,
threatened with respect to any Employees; and the consent of no labor union or
other collective bargaining unit is required to consummate the transactions
contemplated by this Agreement.

          (c) Schedule 3.13(c) sets forth a list of each material defined
benefit and defined contribution plan, stock ownership plan, employment or
consulting agreement, executive compensation plan, bonus plan, incentive
compensation plan or arrangement, deferred compensation agreement or
arrangement, agreement with respect to temporary employees or "leased employees"
(within the meaning of Section 414(n) of the Code), vacation pay, sickness,
disability or death benefit plan (whether provided through insurance, on a
funded or unfunded basis or otherwise), employee stock option, stock
appreciation rights or stock purchase plan, severance pay plan, arrangement or
practice, employee relations policy, practice or arrangement, and each other
employee benefit plan, program or arrangement, including, without limitation,
each "employee benefit plan" within the meaning of Section 3(3) of the Employee
Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, as amended ("ERISA"), which has been
maintained by the Company for the benefit of or relating to any of the Employees
or to any Former Employees or their dependents, survivors or beneficiaries,
whether or not legally binding, whether written or oral or whether express or
implied, all of which are hereinafter referred to as the "Benefit Plans."

          (d) Except as set forth on Schedule 3.13(d) and except for such
failures as may be corrected without resulting in a Tripod Material Adverse
Effect or a fine or penalty in excess of $10,000 individually or in the
aggregate, , each Benefit Plan which is an "employee pension benefit plan" (as
defined in Section 3(2) of ERISA) and which is intended to meet the requirements
of Section 401(a) of the Code meets such requirements; the trust, if any,
forming part of such plan is exempt from U.S. federal income tax under Section
501(a) of the Code; a favorable determination letter has been issued by the
Internal Revenue Service (the "IRS") with respect to each plan and trust and
each amendment thereto; and nothing has occurred since the date of such
determination letter that would adversely affect the qualification of such plan;
no Benefit Plan is a "voluntary employees beneficiary association" (within the
meaning of section 501(c)(9) of the Code) and there have been no other "welfare
benefit funds" (within the meaning of Section 419 of the Code) relating to
Employees or Former Employees; no event or condition exists with respect to any
Benefit Plan that could subject the Company to any material Tax under Section
4980B of the Code.  With respect to each Benefit Plan, the Company has
heretofore

                                      -19-
<PAGE>

delivered or made available to the Parent complete and correct copies of the
following documents, where applicable and to the extent available: (i) the most
recent annual report (Form 5500 series), together with schedules, as required,
filed with the IRS, and any financial statements and opinion required by Section
103(a)(3) of ERISA, (ii) the most recent determination letter issued by the IRS,
(iii) the most recent summary plan description and all modifications, as well as
all other descriptions distributed to Employees or set forth in any manuals or
other documents, (iv) the text of the Benefit Plan and of any trust, insurance
or annuity contracts maintained in connection therewith and (v) the most recent
actuarial report, if any, relating to the Benefit Plan.

          (e) Neither the Company nor any corporation or other trade or business
under common control with the Company (as determined pursuant to Section 414(b)
or (c) of the Code) (a "Common Control Entity") has maintained or contributed to
or in any way directly or indirectly has any liability (whether contingent or
otherwise) with respect to any "multiemployer plan," within the meaning of
Section 3(37) of ERISA; no Benefit Plan or similar benefit plan of any Common
Control Entity has been subject to Title IV of ERISA; neither the Company nor
any Common Control Entity is a party to or has any liability under any agreement
imposing secondary liability on it as a seller of the assets of a business in
accordance with Section 4204 of ERISA or under any other provision of Title IV
of ERISA or other agreement; no contingent or other liability with respect to
which the Company has or could have any liability exists under Title IV of ERISA
to the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation ("PBGC") or to any Benefit Plan; and
no assets of the Company are subject to a lien under Sections 4064 or 4068 of
ERISA. Except as indicated on Schedule 3.13(e), the Company has no obligation to
provide medical or other benefits to Employees or Former Employees or their
survivors, dependents and beneficiaries, except as may be required by the
Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1986 or applicable state
medical benefits continuation law.  Except as disclosed in Schedule 3.13(e), the
Company will not incur any liability under any severance agreement, deferred
compensation agreement, employment or similar agreement as a result of the
consummation of the transactions contemplated by this Agreement.

          (f) Except as set forth on Schedule 3.13(f), none of the Benefit Plans
has been subject to a "reportable event," within the meaning of Section 4043 of
ERISA (whether or not waived); there have been no "prohibited transactions,"
within the meaning of Section 4975 of the Code or Part 4 of Subtitle B of Title
I of ERISA that would have a Tripod Material Adverse Effect or result in a fine
or penalty in excess of $10,000 individually or in the aggregate; none of the
Benefit Plans are subject to Section 412 of the Code; each Benefit Plan has, in
all material respects, been administered to date in compliance in all material
respects with the applicable provisions of ERISA, the Code and applicable law
and with the terms and provisions of all documents, contracts or agreements
pursuant to which such Benefit Plan is maintained; all reports and information
required to be filed with the Department of Labor, the IRS, the PBGC or plan
participants or beneficiaries with respect to any Benefit Plan have been timely
filed; there is no dispute, arbitration, claim, suit, or grievance, pending or,
to the best knowledge of the Company or any Principal Shareholder, threatened,
involving a Benefit Plan (other than routine

                                      -20-
<PAGE>

claims for benefits), and, to the best knowledge of the Company or any
Shareholder, there is no basis for such a claim; none of the Benefit Plans nor
any fiduciary thereof has been the subject of a order or investigation or
examination by a governmental agency and there are no matters pending before the
IRS, the Department of Labor, the PBGC or any other domestic or, to the best
knowledge of the Company or any Principal Shareholder, foreign governmental
agency with respect to a Benefit Plan; there have been no claims, or notice of
claims, filed under any fiduciary liability insurance policy covering any
Benefit Plan; and there has been and will be no "excess parachute payment" (as
that term is defined in Section 28OG(b)(1) of the Code) to any of the Employees
as a result of the consummation of the transactions contemplated hereby.

      3.14     Compliance with Applicable Law.   Except as set forth in
               ------------------------------                         
Schedules 3.13 and 3.14, the Company is not in violation in any material respect
of any applicable safety, health, environmental or other law, statute,
ordinance, code, rule, regulation, judgment, order, injunction, writ or decree
of any Federal, state, local or foreign court or governmental or regulatory
body, agency or authority having, asserting or claiming jurisdiction over it or
over any part of its business, operations, properties or assets, except for any
violation which would not have a Tripod Material Adverse Effect or result in a
fine or penalty in excess of $10,000 individually or in the aggregate.  The
Company has not received any notice alleging any such violation, nor to the best
knowledge of the Company or any Principal Shareholder, is there any inquiry,
investigation or proceedings relating thereto.

      3.15     Ability to Conduct the Business.  There is no agreement,
               -------------------------------                        
arrangement or understanding, nor any judgment, order, writ, injunction or
decree of any court or governmental or regulatory body, agency or authority
applicable to the Company or to which the Company is a party or by which it (or
any of its properties or assets) is bound, that will prevent the use by the
Surviving Corporation, after the Effective Time, of the properties and assets
owned by, the business conducted by or the services rendered by the Company on
the date hereof, in each case on substantially the same basis as the same are
used, owned, conducted or rendered on the date hereof, except where the
prevention of such use will not have a Tripod Material Adverse Effect. The
Company has in force, and is in compliance with, in all material respects, all
material governmental permits, licenses, exemptions, consents, authorizations
and approvals used in or required for the conduct of their business as presently
conducted, all of which shall continue in full force and effect, without
requirement of any filing or the giving of any notice and without modification
thereof, following the consummation of the transactions contemplated hereby.
The Company has not received any notice of, and to the best knowledge of the
Company or any Principal Shareholder, there are no inquiries, proceedings or
investigations relating to or which could result in the revocation or
modification of any such permit, license, exemption, consent, authorization or
approval.

      3.16     Major Customers.  Schedule 3.16 sets forth a complete and correct
               ---------------                                                 
list of the ten largest customers of the Company, in terms of revenue recognized
in respect of such customers during the fiscal year ended December 31, 1997,
showing the amount of revenue recognized for each such customer during such
period.  Except as set forth and described in Schedule 3.16, to

                                      -21-
<PAGE>

the best knowledge of the Company or any Principal Shareholder, the Company has
not received any notice or other communication (written or oral) from any of the
customers listed in Schedule 3.16 hereto terminating or reducing in any material
respect, or setting forth an intention to terminate or reduce in the future, or
otherwise reflecting a material adverse change in, the business relationship
between such customer and the Company.

      3.17     Consultants, Sales Representatives and Other Agents.  Schedule
               ---------------------------------------------------          
3.17 hereto sets forth a complete and correct list of the names and addresses of
each consultant, sales representative or other agent (other than any such person
performing solely clerical functions) currently engaged by the Company who is
not an employee of the Company and who has received compensation in excess of
$25,000 in respect of the fiscal year beginning January 1, 1997, and ending
December 31, 1997, the commission rates or other compensation applicable with
respect to each such person and the amount of commissions or other compensation
earned by each such person for the fiscal period ended December 31, 1997.
Complete and correct copies of all current agreements between the Company and
any such person have previously been delivered or made available by the Company
to the Parent.

      3.18     Accounts Receivable.  All accounts receivable of the Company and
               -------------------                                            
the Subsidiaries (i) arose from bona fide transactions in the ordinary course of
business and consistent with past practice, (ii) except as set forth on Schedule
3.18, are owned by the Company free and clear of any claim, security interest,
lien or other encumbrance and (iii) are accurately and fairly reflected on the
Balance Sheet, or, with respect to accounts receivable of the Company created on
or after October 31, 1997, are accurately and fairly reflected in the books and
records of the Company.  The reserves for bad debts reflected on the Balance
Sheet and in the balance sheet included in the Financial Statements are adequate
and were calculated in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles
consistent with past practice.

      3.19     Insurance.  Schedule 3.19 hereto is a true and complete list of
               ---------  
all insurance policies carried by the Company with respect to its business,
together with, in respect of each such policy, the name of the insurer, the
number of the policy, the annual policy premium payable therefor, the limits of
coverage, the deductible amount (if any), the expiration date thereof and each
pending claim thereunder. Complete and correct copies of each certificate of
insurance have previously been delivered or made available by the Company to the
Parent. All such policies are in full force and effect. All premiums due thereon
have been paid in a timely manner.

      3.20     Bank Accounts; Powers of Attorney.  Schedule 3.21 sets forth a
               ---------------------------------                            
complete and correct list showing:

                     (i) all bank accounts of the Company, together with, with
respect to each such account, the account number, the names of all signatories
thereof, the authorized powers of each such signatory and the approximate
balance thereof on the date of this Agreement; and

                                      -22-
<PAGE>

                     (ii) the names of all persons holding powers of attorney
from the Company and a summary statement of the terms thereof.

      3.21     Minute Books, etc.  The minute books, stock certificate book and
               ------------------                                             
stock ledger of the Company are complete and correct in all material respects.
The minute books of the Company contain accurate and complete records of all
meetings or written consents to action of the Board of Directors and
shareholders of the Company and accurately reflect all corporate actions of the
Company which are required by law to be passed upon by the Board of Directors or
shareholders of the Company.

      3.22     Related Person Indebtedness and Contracts.  Schedule 3.22 sets
               -----------------------------------------                    
forth a complete and correct summary of all contracts, commitments, arrangements
and understandings not described elsewhere in this Agreement between the Company
and any of the following (collectively, "Related Persons"):  (i) the Holders;
(ii) the spouses and children of any of the Holders (collectively, "near
relatives"); (iii) any trust for the benefit of any of the Holders or any of
their respective near relatives; or (iv) any corporation, partnership, joint
venture or other entity or enterprise owned or controlled by any of the Holders
or by any of their respective near relatives.

      3.23     Brokers; Payments.  Except for Morgan Stanley & Co. Incorporated
               -----------------                                              
("MS&Co."), no broker, investment banker, financial advisor or other person is
entitled to any broker's, finder's, financial advisor's or other similar fee or
commission in connection with the transactions contemplated by this Agreement
based upon arrangements made by or on behalf of the Company or any Principal
Shareholder.  The Company has suspended or terminated, and has the legal right
to terminate or suspend, all negotiations and discussions of Acquisition
Transactions (as defined in Section 6.4) with parties other than Parent.  No
valid claim exists against the Company or the Surviving Corporation or, based on
any action by the Company, against the Parent for payment of any "topping,"
"break-up" or "bust-up" fee or any similar compensation or payment arrangement
as a result of the transactions contemplated hereby.

      3.24     Company Action.  The Board of Directors of the Company, by
               --------------                                           
unanimous written consent or at a meeting duly called and held, has (i)
determined that the Merger is fair and in the best interests of the Company and
its shareholders, (ii) approved the Merger and this Agreement in accordance with
the provisions of the DGCL, and (iii) directed that this Agreement and the
Merger be submitted to the Company shareholders for their approval and resolved
to recommend that the Company's shareholders vote favor of the approval of this
Agreement and the Merger.

      3.25     Disclosure.  No representation or warranty by the Company or the
               ----------                                                     
Principal Shareholders contained in this Agreement and no statement contained in
any of the Disclosure Schedules, certificate or other document or instrument
delivered or to be delivered pursuant to this Agreement by the Company or its
representatives contains or will contain any untrue statement of a material fact
or omits or will omit to state any material fact necessary to make the
statements contained therein not misleading.

                                      -23-
<PAGE>

                                  ARTICLE IV
                        REPRESENTATIONS AND WARRANTIES
                         OF THE PRINCIPAL SHAREHOLDERS

      4.1 Authorization etc.  Each of the Principal Shareholders represents and
          ------------------                                                  
warrants, severally, to the Parent and Acquisition as follows:

            (i) such Shareholder is the sole and exclusive record and beneficial
owner of the shares of the Company's capital stock, Stock Options and/or
Warrants set forth opposite such Shareholder's name in Schedule 3.4 hereto, free
and clear of any claims, liens, pledges, options, rights of first refusal or
other encumbrances or restrictions of any nature whatsoever (other than
restrictions on transfer imposed under applicable securities laws), and, except
as set forth on Schedule 3.4 hereto, there are no agreements, arrangements or
understandings to which such Shareholder is a party (other than this Agreement)
involving the purchase, sale or other acquisition or disposition of the shares
owned by such Shareholder; (ii) such Shareholder shall (A) concurrently with
such Shareholder's execution and delivery of this Agreement, execute and deliver
to Parent the Voting Agreement in the form of Exhibit A hereto pursuant to which
                                              ---------                        
Shareholder agrees to vote all shares of capital stock owned by such Shareholder
in favor of the Merger and the adoption of this Agreement by the Company, (B) at
the Effective Time, deliver to the Parent certificates representing all shares
of Company Stock owned by such Shareholder, each such certificate to be duly
endorsed for transfer and free and clear of any claims, liens, pledges, options,
rights of first refusal or other encumbrances or restrictions of any nature
whatsoever (other than restrictions imposed under applicable securities laws);
(iii) such Shareholder has all necessary legal capacity, right, power and
authority to execute and deliver this Agreement and to consummate the
transactions contemplated hereby, and this Agreement constitutes a valid and
binding obligation of such Shareholder enforceable in accordance with its terms,
except to the extent that enforceability may be limited by applicable
bankruptcy, reorganization, insolvency, moratorium or other laws affecting the
enforcement of creditors, rights generally and by general principles of equity,
regardless of whether such enforceability is considered in a proceeding in law
or in equity; and (iv) the execution and delivery of this Agreement by such
Shareholder and the consummation of the transactions contemplated hereby will
not (A) violate or conflict with any provision of any partnership agreement or
other constitutional documents of any such Shareholder that is constituted as a
general or limited partnership, (B) breach, violate or constitute an event of
default (or an event which with the lapse of time or the giving of notice or
both would constitute an event of default) under, give rise to any right of
termination, cancellation, modification or acceleration under or require any
consent or the giving of any notice under, any note, bond, indenture, mortgage,
security agreement, lease, license, franchise, permit, agreement or other
instrument or obligation to which such Shareholder is a party, or by which such
Shareholder or the shares of Company Stock held by such Shareholder may be
bound, or result in the creation of any material lien, claim or encumbrance or
other right of any third party of any kind whatsoever upon the properties or
assets of such Shareholder pursuant to the terms of any such instrument or
obligation, which breach, violation or event of default would have a material
adverse effect on

                                      -24-
<PAGE>

such Shareholder's ability to perform such Shareholder's obligations hereunder,
or (C) violate or conflict with any law, statute, ordinance, code, rule,
regulation, judgment, order, writ, injunction, decree or other instrument of any
court or governmental or regulatory body, agency or authority applicable to such
Shareholder or by which such the shares of Company Stock held by such
Shareholder may be bound.

      4.2 Parent Common Stock.
          -------------------

      Each Principal Shareholder severally acknowledges, represents and warrants
to the Parent and Acquisition as follows:

          (i)    The Shareholder understands that the shares of Parent Common
Stock to be issued to the Shareholder in the Merger will not have been
registered under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the "Securities Act"),
or any state securities law by reason of specific exemptions under the
provisions thereof which depend in part upon the other representations and
warranties made by the Shareholder in this Agreement. The Shareholder
understands that the Parent is relying upon the Shareholder's representation and
warranties contained in this Section 4.2 for the purpose of determining whether
this transaction meets the requirements for such exemptions. The information
contained in the Investor Questionnaire executed by such Shareholder and
delivered to Parent in connection with this Agreement is accurate, complete and
correct.

          (ii)   The Shareholder has such knowledge, skill and experience in
business, financial and investment matters so that the Shareholder is capable of
evaluating the merits and risks of an investment in the Parent Common Stock
pursuant to the transactions contemplated by this Agreement or to the extent
that the Shareholder has deemed it appropriate to do so, the Shareholder has
relied upon appropriate professional advice regarding the tax, legal and
financial merits and consequences of an investment in Parent Common Stock
pursuant to the transactions contemplated by this Agreement.

          (iii)  The Shareholder has made, either alone or together with the
Shareholder's advisors, such independent investigation of the Parent, its
management and related matters as the Shareholder deems to be, or such advisors
have advised to be, necessary or advisable in connection with an investment in
the Parent Common Stock through the transactions contemplated by this Agreement;
and the Shareholder and advisors have received all information and data that the
Shareholder and such advisors believe to be necessary in order to reach an
informed decision as to the advisability of an investment in the Parent Common
Stock pursuant to the transactions contemplated by this Agreement.

          (iv)   The Shareholder has reviewed the Shareholder's financial
condition and commitments, alone and together with the Shareholder's advisors,
and, based on such review, the Shareholder is satisfied that (A) the Shareholder
has adequate means of providing for the Shareholder's financial needs and
possible contingencies and has assets or sources of income

                                      -25-
<PAGE>

which, taken together, are more than sufficient so that he could bear the risk
of loss of the Shareholder's entire investment in the Parent Common Stock, (B)
the Shareholder has no present or contemplated future need to dispose of all or
any portion of the Parent Common Stock to satisfy any existing or contemplated
undertaking, need or indebtedness, and (C) the Shareholder is capable of bearing
the economic risk of an investment in the Parent Common Stock for the indefinite
future. The Shareholder shall furnish any additional information about the
Shareholder reasonably requested by the Parent to assure the compliance of this
transaction with applicable federal and state securities laws.

          (v)    The Shareholder understands that the shares of the Parent
Common Stock to be received by the Principal Shareholder in the transactions
contemplated hereby will be "restricted securities" under applicable federal
securities laws and that the Securities Act and the rules of the Securities and
Exchange Commission promulgated thereunder provide in substance that the
Shareholder may dispose of such shares only pursuant to an effective
registration statement under the Securities Act or an exemption from
registration if available. The Shareholder further understands that, except as
provided in Article XII, the Parent has no obligation or intention to register
the sale of any of the shares of the Parent Common stock to be received by the
Shareholder in the transactions contemplated hereby, or take any other action so
as to permit sales pursuant to, the Securities Act. Accordingly, except as
provided in Article XII, the Shareholder understands that the Shareholder may
dispose of such shares only in transactions which are of a type exempt from
registration under the Securities Act, including (without limitation) a "private
placement," in which event the transferee will acquire such shares as
"restricted securities" and subject to the same limitations as in the hands of
the Shareholder. The Shareholder further understands that applicable state
securities laws may impose additional constraints upon the sale of securities.
As a consequence, the Shareholder understands that the Shareholder may have to
bear the economic risk of an investment in the Parent Common Stock to be
received by the Shareholder pursuant to the transactions contemplated hereby for
an indefinite period of time.

          (vi)   The Shareholder is acquiring shares of the Parent Common Stock
pursuant to the transactions contemplated hereby for investment only and not
with a view to or intention of or in connection with any resale or distribution
of such shares or any interest therein.

          (vii)  The certificate(s) evidencing the shares of the Parent Common
Stock to be issued pursuant to the transactions contemplated hereby shall bear
the following legend:

        "The shares represented by this certificate have not been registered
        under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, or any state securities
        laws and may not be sold or transferred in the absence of such
        registration or an exemption therefrom under the Securities Act of 1933,
        as amended, and applicable state securities laws."

                                      -26-
<PAGE>

                                   ARTICLE V

                        REPRESENTATIONS AND WARRANTIES
                         OF THE PARENT AND ACQUISITION

      The Parent and Acquisition jointly and severally represent and warrant to
the Company and the Principal Shareholders that:

      5.1 Corporate Organization.  Each of the Parent and Acquisition is a
          ----------------------                                         
corporation duly organized, validly existing and in good standing under the laws
of the State of Delaware.  Each of the Parent and Acquisition has all requisite
corporate power and authority to own, operate and lease the properties and
assets it now owns, operates and leases and to carry on its business as now
being conducted.  The Parent and Acquisition are each duly qualified to transact
business as a foreign corporation and are each in good standing in the
jurisdictions set forth opposite their respective names in Schedule 5.1, which
are the only jurisdictions where such qualification is required by reason of the
nature of the properties and assets currently owned, operated or leased by the
Parent or Acquisition or the business currently conducted by them, except for
such jurisdictions where the failure to be so qualified would not have a Lycos
Material Adverse Effect (as defined below).  The Parent has previously delivered
to the Company complete and correct copies of (i) its Certificate of
Incorporation (certified by the Secretary of State of Delaware as of a recent
date) and its By-Laws (certified by the Secretary of the Parent as of a recent
date) and (ii) the Certificate of Incorporation of Acquisition and all
amendments thereto to the date hereof (certified by the Secretary of State of
the State of Delaware as of a recent date) and the By-Laws of Acquisition
(certified by the secretary of Acquisition as of a recent date).  Neither the
Certificate of Incorporation nor the By-Laws of the Parent or Acquisition has
been amended since the respective dates of certification thereof, nor has any
action been taken for the purpose of effecting any amendment of such
instruments.  The term "Lycos Material Adverse Effect" means for purposes of
this Agreement, any change, event or effect that is, or would be, materially
adverse to the business, operation, assets, liabilities, financial condition or
results of operations of the Parent and Acquisition, taken as a whole.

      5.2 Authorization.  Each of the Parent and Acquisition has full corporate
          -------------                                                       
power and authority to execute and deliver this Agreement and to consummate the
transactions contemplated hereby.  The execution and delivery of this Agreement
and the consummation of the transactions contemplated hereby have been duly
approved by the Boards of Directors of the Parent and Acquisition and by the
Parent as the sole shareholder of Acquisition, and no other corporate
proceedings on the part of the Parent or Acquisition are necessary to approve
and authorize the execution and delivery of this Agreement or the consummation
of the transactions contemplated hereby.  This Agreement has been duly executed
and delivered by the Parent and Acquisition and constitutes the valid and
binding agreement of the Parent and Acquisition, enforceable in accordance with
its terms, except to the extent that enforceability may be limited by applicable
bankruptcy, reorganization, insolvency, moratorium or other laws affecting the

                                      -27-
<PAGE>

enforcement of creditors' rights generally and by general principles of equity
(regardless of whether such enforceability is considered in a proceeding in
equity or in law).

      5.3 Consents and Approvals; No Violations.  Subject to the filing of
          -------------------------------------                          
Certificate of Merger with the Secretary of State of the State of Delaware and
compliance with applicable federal and state securities laws, the execution and
delivery of this Agreement and the consummation of the transactions contemplated
hereby will not: (i) violate or conflict with any provisions of the Certificate
of Incorporation or By-Laws of the Parent or Acquisition; (ii) breach, violate
or constitute an event of default (or an event which with the lapse of time or
the giving of notice or both would constitute an event of default) under, give
rise to any right of termination, cancellation, modification or acceleration
under, or require any consent or the giving of any notice under, any note, bond,
indenture, mortgage, security agreement, lease, license, franchise, permit,
agreement or other instrument or obligation to which the Parent or Acquisition
is a party, or by which any of them or any of their respective properties or
assets may be bound, or result in the creation of any lien, claim or encumbrance
of any kind whatsoever upon the properties or assets of the Parent or
Acquisition pursuant to the terms of any such instrument or obligation, other
than any breach, violation, default, termination, cancellation, modification or
acceleration which would not have a Lycos Material Adverse Effect; (iii) violate
or conflict with any law, statute, ordinance, code, rule, regulation, judgment,
order, writ, injunction or decree or other instrument of any Federal, state,
local or foreign court or governmental or regulatory body, agency or authority
applicable to the Parent or Acquisition or by which any of their respective
properties or assets may be bound, except for such violations or conflicts which
would not have a Lycos Material Adverse Effect; or (iv) require, on the part of
the Parent or Acquisition, any filing or registration with, or permit, license,
exemption, consent, authorization or approval of, or the giving of any notice
to, any governmental or regulatory body, agency or authority other than any
filing, registration, permit, license, exemption, consent, authorization,
approval or notice which if not obtained or made would not have a Lycos Material
Adverse Effect.

      5.4 Capitalization.  (a) The authorized capital stock of the Parent
          --------------                                                
consists of 40,000,000 shares of Parent Common Stock, of which 14,470,313 shares
are issued and outstanding as of January 30, 1998 and 5,000,000 shares of
Preferred Stock, none of which are issued or outstanding. All of the issued and
outstanding shares of Parent Common Stock are (and all shares of Parent Common
Stock to be issued in connection with the Merger, when issued in accordance with
this Agreement, shall be) duly authorized, validly issued, fully paid and
nonassessable, and none of such shares has been issued in violation of any
applicable preemptive rights. There are no agreements or commitments to which
the Parent is a party or by which it is bound for the redemption or repurchase
of any shares of its capital stock.  Except for options issued under the
Parent's 1995 Stock Option Plan, 1996 Stock Option Plan, 1996 Non-Employee
Director Stock Option Plan and 1996 Employee Stock Purchase Plan, all of which
are identified on Schedule 5.4 (collectively, the "Stock Option Plans"), there
are no outstanding options, warrants or other rights to purchase, or securities
convertible into or exchangeable for, shares of the capital stock of the Parent,
and (except as contemplated by this Agreement and except with respect to options
issued under the Stock Option Plans) there are no agreements or commitments

                                      -28-
<PAGE>

to which the Parent is a party or by which it is bound pursuant to which the
Parent is or may become obligated to issue additional shares of its capital
stock.

          (b) The authorized capital stock of Acquisition consists of 1,000
shares of common stock, par value $0.01 per share, of which 100 shares are
issued and outstanding, all of which shares are owned beneficially and of record
by the Parent.  There are no outstanding options, warrants or other rights to
purchase, or securities convertible into or exchangeable for, shares of the
capital stock of Acquisition, and there are no agreements or commitments to
which Acquisition is a party or by which it is bound pursuant to which
Acquisition is or may become obligated to issue additional shares of its capital
stock.

      5.5 SEC Reports and Financial Statements.  The Parent has heretofore
          ------------------------------------                           
delivered or made available to the Company complete and correct copies of all
reports and other filings filed by the Parent with the SEC pursuant to the
Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, and the rules and regulations
thereunder (the "Exchange Act") since August 1, 1997 (such reports and other
filings collectively referred to herein as the "Exchange Act Filings").  The
Exchange Act Filings constitute all of the documents required to be filed by the
Parent under the Exchange Act with the SEC since such date.  As of their
respective dates, the Exchange Act Filings did not contain any untrue statement
of a material fact or omit to state a material fact required to be stated
therein or necessary to make the statements therein, in light of the
circumstances under which they were made, not misleading.  The audited
consolidated financial statements of the Parent included in the Exchange Act
Filings comply in all material respects with the published rules and regulations
of the SEC with respect thereto, and such audited consolidated financial
statements (i) were prepared from the books and records of the Parent and its
consolidated subsidiaries, (ii) were prepared in accordance with generally
accepted accounting principles applied on a consistent basis (except as may be
indicated therein or in the notes or schedules thereto) and (iii) present fairly
the financial position of the Parent and its consolidated subsidiaries as at the
dates thereof and the results of their operations and cash flows (or changes in
financial position, for the fiscal year ended July 31, 1997 and earlier years)
for the periods then ended.  The unaudited financial statements included in the
Exchange Act Filings comply in all material respects with the published rules
and regulations of the SEC with respect thereto; and such unaudited financial
statements (i) were prepared from the books and records of the Parent and its
consolidated subsidiaries, (ii) were prepared in accordance with generally
accepted accounting principles, except as otherwise permitted under the Exchange
Act and the rules and regulations thereunder, on a consistent basis (except as
may be indicated therein or in the notes or schedules thereto) and (iii) present
fairly the financial position of the Parent and its consolidated subsidiaries as
at the dates thereof and the results of their operations and cash flows (or
changes in financial condition) for the periods then ended, subject to normal
year-end adjustments and any other adjustments described therein or in the notes
or schedules thereto.

      5.6 Absence of Certain Changes.  Since July 31, 1997, the business of the
          --------------------------                                          
Parent has been conducted in the ordinary course and consistent with past
practice.  Except as set forth in

                                      -29-
<PAGE>

Schedule 5.6 or in the Exchange Act Filings filed before the date hereof, since
July 31, 1997, there has been no Lycos Material Adverse Effect.

      5.7  Disclosure.  No representation or warranty by the Parent or
           ----------                                                
Acquisition contained in this Agreement and no statement contained in any
Schedule, certificate or other document or instrument delivered or to be
delivered pursuant to this Agreement contains or will contain any untrue
statement of a material fact or omits or will omit to state any material fact
necessary to make the statements contained therein not misleading.

      5.8  Litigation.  There is no action, suit, proceeding, claim, arbitration
           ----------                                                          
or investigation pending, or as to which Parent or any of its Subsidiaries has
received any notice of assertion, that would have a Lycos Material Adverse
Effect, nor, to the best knowledge of the Parent, is there a threatened action,
suit, proceeding, claim, arbitration or investigation against Parent or any of
its Subsidiaries that would have a Lycos Material Adverse Effect or that in any
manner challenges or seeks to prevent, enjoin, alter or delay any of the
transactions contemplated by this Agreement.

      5.9  Due Diligence Investigation.  The Parent is knowledgeable about the
           ---------------------------                                       
industry in which the Company operates and is experienced in the acquisition and
management of businesses.  The Parent has conducted a full due diligence
investigation of the Company and has received answers to all inquiries it has
made regarding the Company.

      5.10 Tax Treatment of Merger.  Neither the Parent nor any of its
           -----------------------                                   
Subsidiaries has taken any action or knows of any fact, agreement, plan or other
circumstance that is reasonably likely to prevent the Merger from qualifying as
a reorganization under Section 368(a) of the Code.

                                  ARTICLE VI

                    CONDUCT OF BUSINESS OF THE COMPANY AND
                    THE PARENT PRIOR TO THE EFFECTIVE TIME

      6.1  Conduct of Business of the Company.  During the period commencing on
           ----------------------------------                                 
the date hereof and continuing until the Effective Time, the Company and each of
the Principal Shareholders agree that the Company, except as otherwise expressly
contemplated by this Agreement or agreed to in writing by the Parent:

           (a) will carry on its business only in the ordinary course and
consistent with past practice;

           (b) will not declare or pay any dividend on or make any other
distribution (however characterized) in respect of shares of its capital stock;

                                      -30-
<PAGE>

          (c) will not, directly or indirectly, redeem or repurchase, or agree
to redeem or repurchase, any shares of its capital stock;

          (d) will not amend its Certificate of incorporation or By-Laws;

          (e) will not issue, or agree to issue, any shares of its capital stock
(except pursuant to the exercise of currently outstanding warrants or options),
or any options, warrants or other rights to acquire shares of its capital stock,
or any securities convertible into or exchangeable for shares of its capital
stock;

          (f) will not combine, split or otherwise reclassify any shares of its
capital stock;

          (g) will not form a Subsidiary;

          (h) will use its commercially reasonable best efforts to preserve
intact its present business organization, keep available the services of its
officers and key employees and preserve its relationships with clients and
others having business dealings with it to the end that its goodwill and ongoing
business shall not be materially impaired at the Effective Time;

          (i) will not (i) make any capital expenditures individually in excess
of $10,000 or in the aggregate in excess of $25,000, (ii) enter into any
license, distribution, OEM, reseller, joint venture or other similar agreement,
(iii) enter into or terminate any lease of, or purchase or sell, any real
property, (iv) enter into any leases of personal property involving individually
in excess of $10,000 annually or in the aggregate in excess of $25,000 annually,
(v) incur or guarantee any additional indebtedness for borrowed money, (vi)
create or permit to become effective any security interest, mortgage, lien,
charge or other encumbrance on its properties or assets, or (vii) enter into any
agreement to do any of the foregoing;

          (j) will not adopt or amend any Benefit Plan for the benefit of
Employees, or increase the salary or other compensation (including, without
limitation, bonuses or severance compensation) payable or to become payable to
its Employees (except pursuant to existing contractual obligations which have
been disclosed to the Parent) or accelerate, amend or change the period of
exercisability or the vesting schedule of options granted under any stock option
plan or agreements except as specifically required by the terms of such plans or
agreements, or enter into any agreement to do any of the foregoing;

          (k) will promptly advise the Parent of the commencement of, or threat
of (to the extent that such threat comes to the knowledge of the Company, any
Subsidiary or any of the Principal Shareholders), any claim, action, suit,
proceeding or investigation against, relating to or involving the Company or any
of its Subsidiaries or any of their directors, officers, employees, agents or
consultants in connection with their businesses or the transactions contemplated
hereby that could reasonably be expected to have a Tripod Material Adverse
Effect;

                                      -31-
<PAGE>

          (l) will use its commercially reasonable best efforts to maintain in
full force and effect all insurance policies maintained by the Company on the
date hereof; and

          (m) will not enter into any agreement to dissolve, merge, consolidate
or, except in the ordinary course, sell any material assets of the Company or
any of the Subsidiaries, or acquire or agree to acquire by merging or
consolidating with, or by purchasing a substantial equity interest in or
substantial portion of the assets of, or by any other manner, any business or
any corporation, partnership or other business organization or division, or
otherwise acquire or agree to acquire any assets in excess of $25,000 in the
aggregate.

      6.2 Conduct of Business of the Parent.  During the period commencing on
          ---------------------------------                                 
the date hereof and continuing until the Effective Time, the Parent agrees that,
except as expressly contemplated by this Agreement or agreed to in writing by
the Company, the Parent:

          (a) subject to the fiduciary duties of the Parent's Board of
Directors, as advised in writing by counsel, will carry on its business only in
the ordinary course consistent with past practice;

          (b) will promptly advise the Company of the commencement of, or threat
of (to the extent that such threat comes to the knowledge of the Parent or any
Parent Subsidiary), any claim, action, suit, proceeding or investigation
against, relating to or involving the Parent or any Parent Subsidiary or any of
their directors, officers, employees, agents or consultants in connection with
their businesses or the transactions contemplated hereby; and

          (c) will not enter into any agreement to dissolve, merge, consolidate
or, except in the ordinary course, sell any material assets of the Parent or any
of the Parent Subsidiaries.

          (d) will not take any action or cause its Subsidiaries to take any
action which could cause the Merger to fail to qualify as a reorganization under
the provisions of Section 368(a) of the Code.

      6.3 Conduct of Business of Acquisition.  During the period commencing on
          ----------------------------------                                 
the date hereof and continuing until the Effective Time, Acquisition shall not
engage in any activities of any nature except as provided in or contemplated by
this Agreement.

      6.4 Other Negotiations.  Neither the Company nor any Principal Shareholder
          ------------------                                                   
will (nor will they permit any of their respective officers, directors,
employees, agents, partners and affiliates on their behalf to) take any action
to solicit, initiate, seek, encourage or support any inquiry, proposal or offer
from, furnish any information to, or participate in any negotiations with, any
corporation, partnership, person or other entity or group (other than Parent)
regarding any acquisition of the Company, any merger or consolidation with or
involving the Company, or any acquisition of any material portion of the stock
or assets of the

                                      -32-
<PAGE>

Company, or any equity or debt financing of the Company or any material license
of Intellectual Property Rights (any of the foregoing being referred to in this
Agreement as an "Acquisition Transaction") or enter into an agreement concerning
any Acquisition Transaction with any party other than Parent. If between the
date of this Agreement and the termination of this Agreement pursuant to Article
X, the Company receives from a third party any offer to negotiate or consummate
an Acquisition Transaction, the Company shall (i) notify Parent immediately
(orally and in writing) of such offer, including the identity of such party and
the terms of any proposal therein, and (ii) notify such third party of the
Company's obligations under this Agreement.

                                  ARTICLE VII

                             ADDITIONAL AGREEMENTS

      7.1 Access to Properties and Records.  Between the date of this Agreement
          --------------------------------                                    
and the Effective Time, the Company (with respect to itself and the
Subsidiaries) will provide the Parent and its accountants, counsel and other
authorized advisors, with reasonable access, during business hours, to its
premises and properties and  its books and records (including, without
limitation, contracts, leases, insurance policies, litigation files, minute
books, accounts, working papers and tax returns filed and in preparation) and
will cause its officers to furnish to Parent and its authorized advisors such
additional financial, tax and operating data and other information pertaining to
its business as Parent shall from time to time reasonably request.  All of such
data and information shall be kept confidential by Parent until the consummation
of the Merger.

      7.2 Stockholder Approval.  (a) Prior to the Effective Time and at the
          --------------------                                            
earliest practicable date following the date hereof, but in no event later than
three business days after the date hereof, the Company will solicit written
consents from its shareholders seeking approval of this Agreement, the Merger
and related matters.  In soliciting such written consent, the Board of Directors
of the Company will recommend to the shareholders of the Company that they
approve this Agreement and the Merger and the Company and the Board of Directors
shall use their best efforts to obtain the approval of the shareholders of the
Company entitled to vote on or consent to this Agreement and the Merger in
accordance with the DGCL and the Company's Certificate of Incorporation.  In
soliciting the written consent of shareholders, the Company will deliver to each
shareholder as soon as reasonably practicable an information statement (the
"Information Statement") substantially the form delivered to Parent on the date
hereof.  The Information Statement prepared by the Company in the form approved
by Parent shall be in such form and contain such information that is intended to
permit compliance by the Parent with the requirements of Regulation D under the
Securities Act in connection with the issuance of shares of Parent Common Stock
in the Merger.

          (b) Within three business days after the execution of this Agreement,
the Company will distribute the Information Statement to the shareholders of the
Company.  As

                                      -33-
<PAGE>

promptly as practicable after the date of this Agreement, the Company and the
Parent will prepare and file any filings required under the Exchange Act, the
Securities Act or any other Federal, foreign or state securities or blue sky
laws relating to the Merger and the transactions contemplated by this Agreement
(the "Filings"). The Information Statement and the Filings will comply in all
material respects with all applicable requirements of law. Whenever any event
occurs which is required to be set forth in an amendment or supplement to the
Information Statement or any Filing, the Company or Parent, as the case may be,
will promptly inform the other of such occurrence and cooperate in making any
appropriate amendment or supplement, and/or mailing to shareholders of the
Company, such amendment or supplement. The Information Statement will include
the recommendation of the Board of Directors of the Company in favor of adoption
and approval of this Agreement and approval of the Merger.

          (c) The Principal Shareholders each severally agree to vote their
shares of the capital stock of the Company for the approval and adoption of this
Agreement and the Merger. The Principal Shareholders each severally agree that
they (i) shall not dispose of or in any way encumber said shares prior to the
consummation of the transactions contemplated hereby, (ii) shall take no action
inconsistent with the approval and consummation of said transactions and (iii)
at the Closing shall surrender the stock certificates representing all shares of
Company Stock owned by them, duly endorsed for transfer.

      7.3  Reasonable Efforts; etc.  Subject to the terms and conditions herein
           ------------------------
provided, each of the parties hereto agrees to use his/its reasonable efforts to
take, or cause to be taken, all actions, and to do, or cause to be done, all
things necessary, proper or advisable under applicable laws and regulations to
consummate and make effective the transactions contemplated by this Agreement,
including obtaining any consents, authorizations, exemptions and approvals from,
and making all filings with, any governmental or regulatory authority, agency or
body which are necessary in connection with the transactions contemplated by
this Agreement.

      7.4  Material Events.  At all times prior to the Effective Time, each
           ---------------
party shall promptly notify the others in writing of the occurrence of any event
which will or may result in the failure to satisfy any of the conditions
specified in Article VIII or Article IX he reof.

      7.5  Registration Statement on Form S-8.  As promptly as practicable
           ----------------------------------                            
following the Effective Time, but in no event later than the twentieth business
day following the Effective Time, the Parent shall cause to be filed with the
SEC, if necessary, one or more Registration Statements on Form S-8 covering the
shares of Parent Common Stock issuable pursuant to the arrangements described in
Section 2.2(c) hereof.

      7.6. Fees and Expenses.  The parties hereto shall bear and pay all of
           -----------------                                              
their own fees, costs and expenses relating to the transactions contemplated by
this Agreement, including, without limitation, the fees and expenses of their
respective counsel, accountants, brokers and financial advisors, except that the
Holders shall be responsible for all the fees, costs and expenses incurred by
the Company in connection with this Agreement and the transactions contemplated

                                      -34-
<PAGE>

hereby and such fees, costs and expenses shall be deemed to be expenses of the
Holders and paid by the Holders, provided that, upon the consummation of the
Merger, the Company shall be permitted to pay up to $1,400,000 of such fees,
costs and expenses, provided, further that the amount of such fees, costs and
expenses in excess of $850,000 (the "Excess Amount") shall reduce the number of
shares of Parent Common Stock constituting the Merger Shares by an amount equal
to the Excess Amount divided by the last quoted sale price for shares of Parent
Common Stock on The Nasdaq National Market for the fourth trading day prior to
the Effective Time.  All invoices relating to the fees, costs and expenses which
may be paid by the Company shall be delivered to the Parent at least three
business days prior to the Closing so as to enable Parent to calculate the
Expense Shares and the Exchange Ratio.

      7.7 Employees.  Parent shall offer employment with the Parent or the
          ---------                                                      
Company to all employees of the Company at the Effective Time, subject to each
employee signing the applicable agreement referred to in Section 8.5 (i) or
(ii).  Employees of the Company at the Effective Time will be provided with
benefit plans by the Surviving Corporation or Parent which in the aggregate are
no less favorable to such employees than those provided from time to time by
Parent and its Subsidiaries to similarly situated employees, with appropriate
adjustments to give effect to the cost of living in the region where such
employee works.  If any employee of the Company becomes a participant in any
employee benefit plan, program, policy or arrangement of Parent, such employee
shall be given credit for all service prior to the Effective Time with the
Company to the extent permissible under such plan, program, policy or
arrangement.

      7.8 Board of Directors of the Parent; Observer.  (a) The Parent agrees to
          ------------------------------------------                          
use its best efforts to cause its Board of Directors, at the first meeting of
its Board of Directors following the Effective Time, to increase the Board of
Directors from four members to five members and, to fill the vacancy created by
such increase, to elect Richard Sabot to the class of Directors whose term
expires at the first Annual Meeting of the Parent's stockholders held after the
Parent's fiscal year ending July 31, 2000 (the "2000 Annual Meeting").  Such
person shall be entitled to serve as a Director until the earlier of the 2000
Annual Meeting or the date on which either Bo Peabody or Richard Sabot ceases
being an employee of the Company, provided that such Director shall be entitled
to serve until the first anniversary of the Effective Time.  If such person is
not entitled to continue as a Director prior to the 2000 Annual Meeting, then,
if requested by Parent, he agrees to promptly resign as a Director.

          (b) So long as Mr. Sabot is entitled to serve as a Director under
Section 7.8(a), the Parent agrees to permit Bo Peabody to attend all meetings of
the Board of Directors in a non-voting, observer capacity; provided, however,
that Parent reserves the right to exclude such person from access to any
material or meeting or portion thereof if Parent believes that such exclusion is
reasonably necessary to  preserve attorney-client privilege, to protect
confidential or proprietary information or for other similar reasons.

                                      -35-
<PAGE>

      7.9   Nasdaq National Market Listing.  Parent shall cause the shares of
            ------------------------------                                  
Parent Common Stock issuable in the Merger to be authorized for listing on The
Nasdaq National Market.

      7.10  Directors and Officers Indemnification.  The Certificate of
            --------------------------------------                    
Incorporation of Acquisition shall include exculpatory and indemnification
provisions substantially identical to those now existing in the Certificate of
Incorporation of the Company for the benefit of any individual who served as a
director or officer of the Company at any time prior to the Effective Time,
except for any changes which may be required to conform with changes in
applicable law and any changes which do not affect the application of such
provisions to acts or omissions of such individuals prior to the Effective Time
and except that the Surviving Corporation shall not be required to indemnify,
defend or hold harmless any director or officer of the Company prior to the
Effective Time with respect to claims, losses or liabilities arising from or
relating to the Company's execution and delivery of this Agreement and the
consummation of the transactions contemplated hereby.

      7.11  Tripod Brand.  Parent intends to maintain the Tripod brand, but in
            ------------                                                  
any event shall continue to maintain the Tripod brand for such period following
the Effective Time as the Board of Directors of Parent deems appropriate.

      7.12  Location of Operations.  Parent intends to maintain the Company's
            ----------------------                                          
operations in Williamstown, Massachusetts, but in any event shall continue to
maintain the Company's operations in Williamstown, Massachusetts for a period of
not less than one year following the Effective Time so long as the Company's
existing facility continues to be made available to the Company on substantially
the same terms and conditions as set forth in the Lease Agreement listed on
Schedule 3.10(d).

      7.13  Tax Treatment.  Each of the Parent, Acquisition, any Subsidiary of
            -------------                                                 
the Parent, the Company and the Principal Shareholders shall use their
reasonable commercial efforts to cause the Merger to qualify as a reorganization
under Section 368(a) of the Code.  Parent and its Subsidiaries will not take, or
cause the Company to take, any action after the Effective Time which will cause
the Merger to fail to qualify as a reorganization under the provisions of
Section 368(a) of the Code.

                                  ARTICLE VIII

                        CONDITIONS TO THE OBLIGATIONS OF
                           THE PARENT AND ACQUISITION

     The obligation of the Parent and Acquisition to consummate the transactions
contemplated hereby shall be subject to the satisfaction, on or prior to the
Closing Date, of each of the following conditions (any of which may be waived in
writing by the Parent and Acquisition in their sole discretion):

                                      -36-
<PAGE>

      8.1 Representations and Warranties True.  The representations and
          -----------------------------------                         
warranties of the Company and of each of the Principal Shareholders which are
contained in this Agreement, or contained in any Schedule, certificate or other
instrument or document delivered or to be delivered pursuant to this Agreement,
shall be true and correct in all material respects at and as of the Closing Date
as though such representations and warranties were made on and as of the Closing
Date, and at the Closing the Company shall have delivered to the Parent and
Acquisition a certificate (signed on behalf of the Company by the President and
the Controller of the Company) to that effect with respect to all such
representations and warranties made by the Company, and each Principal
Shareholder shall have executed and delivered to the Parent and Acquisition a
certificate to that effect with respect to all such representations and
warranties made, jointly and severally or severally, by such Shareholder.

      8.2 Performance.  The Company and each of the Principal Shareholders shall
          -----------                                                          
have performed and complied in all material respects with all of the obligations
under this Agreement which are required to be performed or complied with by them
on or prior to the Closing Date, and at the Closing the Company shall have
delivered to the Parent and Acquisition a certificate (duly executed on behalf
of the Company by the President and the Chief Financial Officer of the Company)
to that effect with respect to all such obligations required to have been
performed or complied with by the Company on or before the Closing Date, and
each of the Principal Shareholders shall have executed and delivered to the
Parent and Acquisition a certificate to that effect with respect to all such
obligations required to have been performed or complied with by such
Shareholders on or before the Closing Date.

      8.3 Absence of Litigation.  No statute, rule or regulation shall have been
          ---------------------                                                
enacted or promulgated, and no order, decree, writ or injunction shall have been
issued and shall remain in effect, by any court or governmental or regulatory
body, agency or authority which restrains, enjoins or otherwise prohibits the
consummation of the transactions contemplated hereby, and no action, suit or
proceeding before any court or governmental or regulatory body, agency or
authority shall have been instituted by any person (or instituted or threatened
by any governmental or regulatory body, agency or authority), and no
investigation by any governmental or regulatory body, agency or authority shall
have been commenced with respect to the transactions contemplated hereby or with
respect to the Company which would have a material adverse effect on the
transactions contemplated hereby or on the business of the Company and the
Subsidiaries taken as a whole.

      8.4 Consents.  All approvals, consents, waivers and authorizations
          --------                                                     
required to be obtained by the Company or any Principal Shareholder in
connection with the Merger and the other transactions contemplated by this
Agreement (including those identified on Schedule 3.3) shall have been obtained
and shall be in full force and effect.

                                      -37-
<PAGE>

      8.5 Additional Agreements.  Parent shall have the following
          ---------------------                                 
agreements:

          (i) the Employment and Non-Competition Agreement in the form of
Exhibit E hereto, duly executed by each of Richard Sabot, Bo Peabody, Kara
- ---------                                                                
Berklich, Paul Debraccio, Bruce Ludemann, Tung Pham, Margaret Stewart, Scott
Walker, Don Zeraski and Ethan Zuckerman;

          (ii)  the Nondisclosure and Development Agreement in the form of
Exhibit F hereto, duly executed by each employee of the Company who is not
- ---------                                                                
required to execute an Employment Agreement;

          (iii)    the Escrow Agreement annexed as Exhibit D hereto, duly
                                                   ---------            
executed by Peter J. Barris, as Representative of the Holders under such Escrow
Agreement (and countersigned by holders of at least 95% of the outstanding
Company Stock, holders of at least 95% of outstanding Stock Options and holders
of at least 95% of outstanding Warrants where required on the addendum thereto),
together with counterparts signed by the escrow agent named therein and blank
stock powers executed by each of the holders with respect to such holder's
portion of the Escrow Shares;

          (iv) Resignations of all directors of the Company, effective as of the
Effective Time; and

          (v) the letter agreement in the form of Exhibit I duly executed by
                                                  ---------                
holders of at least 95% of the outstanding shares of Company Stock, holders of
at least 95% of outstanding Stock Options and holders of at least 95% of
outstanding Warrants who are not parties to this Agreement (the "Shareholder
Letter Agreement").

      8.6 Opinion of Hale and Dorr.  The Company shall have delivered to the
          ------------------------                                         
Parent an opinion of Hale and Dorr LLP, counsel to the Company and the
Shareholders, in substantially the form attached as Exhibit G hereto.
                                                   ----------       

      8.7 Delivery of Certificates for Cancellation.  The share certificates
          -----------------------------------------                        
representing at least 95% of the issued and outstanding shares of Company Stock
as of the Closing Date, duly endorsed in blank, shall have been surrendered for
cancellation.

      8.8 Appraisal Rights.  The holders of at least 95% of the issued and
          ----------------                                               
outstanding shares of Company Stock shall have voted in favor of the approval of
the Merger and the transactions contemplated hereby and holders of no more than
5% of the issued and outstanding shares of Company Stock shall have demanded
appraisal rights in respect of the Merger.

      8.9 Termination of Agreements.  The following agreements between the
          -------------------------                                      
Company and certain of its shareholders shall have been terminated, effective no
later than the Effective Time: (i) the Amended and Restated Right of First
Refusal and Co-Sale Agreement dated as of

                                      -38-
<PAGE>

May 15, 1997 among the Company and the other parties named therein, (ii) the
Amended and Restated Registration Rights Agreement dated as of May 15, 1997
among the Company and the other parties named therein, (iii) the Second Amended
and Restated Company Right of First Refusal Agreement dated as of May 15, 1997
among the Company and the other parties named therein, (iv) the Amended and
Restated Stockholders' Voting Agreement dated as of May 15, 1997 among the
Company and the other parties named therein, and (v) each Preferred Stock
Purchase Agreement relating to the purchase of shares of Company Preferred
Stock.

      8.10     Certificate of Merger.  The Company shall have executed and
               ---------------------                                     
delivered to the Parent counterparts of the Certificate of Merger to be filed
with the Secretary of State of the State of Delaware in connection with the
Merger.

                                  ARTICLE IX

                     CONDITIONS TO THE OBLIGATIONS OF THE
                    COMPANY AND THE PRINCIPAL SHAREHOLDERS

     The obligation of the Company and the Principal Shareholders to consummate
the transactions contemplated by this Agreement shall be subject to the
satisfaction, on or prior to the Closing Date, of each of the following
conditions (any of which may be waived in writing by the Company and the
Shareholders in their sole discretion):

      9.1 Representations and Warranties True.  The representations and
          -----------------------------------                         
warranties of each of the Parent and Acquisition contained in this Agreement, or
contained in any Schedule, certificate or other instrument or document delivered
or to be delivered pursuant to this Agreement, shall be true and correct in all
material respects at and as of the Closing Date as though such representations
and warranties were made on and as of the Closing Date, and at the Closing each
of the Parent and Acquisition shall have delivered to the Company and the
Shareholders a certificate (signed on its behalf by its President and its Chief
Financial Officer) to that effect with respect to all such representations and
warranties made by such entity.

      9.2 Performance.  Each of the Parent and Acquisition shall have performed
          -----------                                                         
and complied in all material respects with all of the obligations under this
Agreement which are required to be performed or complied with by them on or
prior to the Closing Date, and at the Closing each of the Parent and Acquisition
shall have delivered to the Company and the Shareholders a certificate, signed
on its behalf by its President and its Chief Financial Officer, to that effect
with respect to all such obligations required to have been performed or complied
with by such entity on or before the Closing Date.

      9.3 Absence of Litigation.  No statute, rule or regulation shall have been
          ---------------------                                                
enacted or promulgated, and no order, decree, writ or injunction shall have been
issued and shall remain in effect, by any court or governmental or regulatory
body, agency or authority which restrains, enjoins or otherwise prohibits the
consummation of the transactions contemplated hereby, and no

                                      -39-
<PAGE>

action, suit or proceeding before any court or governmental or regulatory body,
agency or authority shall have been instituted by any person (or instituted or
threatened by any governmental or regulatory body, agency or authority) and no
investigation by any governmental or regulatory body, agency or authority shall
have been commenced with respect to the transactions contemplated hereby or with
respect to the Parent or the Parent Subsidiaries which would have a material
adverse effect on the transactions contemplated hereby or on the business of the
Parent and the Parent Subsidiaries taken as a whole.

      9.4 Consents.  All approvals, consents, waivers and authorizations
          --------                                                     
required to be obtained by Parent or Acquisition in connection with the Merger
and the other transactions contemplated by this Agreement (including those
identified on Schedule 5.3) shall have been obtained and shall be in full force
and effect.

      9.5 Additional Agreements.  The Parent shall have executed and delivered
          ---------------------                                              
(and shall have agreed to cause the Surviving Corporation to execute and deliver
immediately following the Effective Time, as applicable) counterparts of the
following agreements;

          (i) the Employment and Non-Competition Agreements referred to in
Section 8.5(i) hereof;

          (ii)  the Nondisclosure and Inventions Agreements referred to in
Section 8.5(ii) hereof;

          (iii)    the Escrow Agreement referred to in Section 8.5(iii) hereof,
together with counterparts signed by the escrow agent named therein.

      9.6 Opinion of Hutchins, Wheeler & Dittmar.  The Parent shall have
          --------------------------------------                       
delivered to the Company an opinion of Hutchins, Wheeler & Dittmar in
substantially the form annexed as Exhibit H hereto.
                                  ---------       

      9.7 Certificate of Merger.  The Parent and Acquisition shall have executed
          ---------------------                                                
and delivered to the Company counterparts of the Certificate of Merger to be
filed with the Secretary of the State of the State of Delaware in connection
with the Merger.

      9.8 Shares of Parent Common Stock.  Subject to the deposit into escrow of
          -----------------------------                                       
shares of Parent Common Stock contemplated under Section 2.8, at the Closing the
Parent shall deliver to the Principal Shareholders the shares of Parent Common
Stock issuable to the Principal Shareholders pursuant to Section 2.2(a) hereof.

                                      -40-
<PAGE>

                                   ARTICLE X

                                  TERMINATION

      10.1  Termination.  This Agreement may be terminated at any time prior
            -----------                                                    
to the Effective Time:

            (a) by the mutual written consent of the Company and the Parent;

            (b) by either the Company or the Parent

                (i)  if any court or governmental or regulatory agency,
authority or body shall have enacted, promulgated or issued any statute, rule,
regulation, ruling, writ or injunction, or taken any other action, restraining,
enjoining or otherwise prohibiting the transactions contemplated hereby and all
appeals and means of appeal therefrom have been exhausted; or

                (ii) if the Effective Time shall not have occurred on or before
March 15, 1998; provided, however, that the right to terminate this Agreement
pursuant to this Section 10.1(b)(ii) shall not be available to any party whose
(or whose affiliate(s)') breach of any representation or warranty or failure to
perform or comply with any obligation under this Agreement or the Voting
Agreement has been the cause of, or resulted in, the failure of the Effective
Time to occur on or before such date;

            (c) by the Company, if any of the conditions specified in Article IX
have not been met or waived prior to such time as such condition can no longer
be satisfied; or

            (d) by the Parent, if any of the conditions specified in Article
VIII shall not have been met or waived prior to such time as such condition can
no longer be satisfied.

      10.2  Effect of Termination.  In the event of termination of this
            ---------------------                                     
Agreement, this Agreement shall forthwith become void and there shall be no
liability on the part of any of the parties hereto or (in the case of the
Company, the Parent and Acquisition) their respective officers or directors,
except for Sections 7.6, 13.6 and 13.7 and the last sentence of Section 7.1,
which shall remain in full force and effect, and except that nothing herein
shall relieve any party from liability for a breach of this Agreement prior to
the termination hereof.

                                  ARTICLE XI

                         INDEMNIFICATION; SURVIVAL OF
                        REPRESENTATIONS AND WARRANTIES

      11.1  Indemnity Obligations of the Holders.  Each of the Holders hereby
            ------------------------------------                            
jointly and severally agrees to indemnify and hold the Parent harmless from, and
to reimburse the Parent for,

                                      -41-
<PAGE>

any Indemnity Claims (as that term is hereinafter defined) arising under the
terms and conditions of this Agreement. For purposes of this Agreement, the term
"Indemnity Claim" shall mean any and all losses, damages, deficiencies,
liabilities, obligations, actions, claims, suits, proceedings, demands,
assessments, judgments, recoveries, fees, costs and expenses (including, without
limitation, all out-of-pocket expenses, reasonable investigation expenses and
reasonable fees and disbursements of accountants and counsel) of any nature
whatsoever, net of insurance proceeds actually realized or to be realized by
Parent (collectively, "Losses") arising out of, based upon or resulting from (i)
any inaccuracy in or breach of any representation and warranty of the Company or
the Holders which is contained in this Agreement or the Shareholder Letter
Agreement or any Schedule or certificate delivered pursuant hereto or thereto;
or (ii) any breach or nonfulfillment of, or any failure to perform, any of the
covenants, agreements or undertakings of the Company (which covenants,
agreements or undertakings were to be performed or complied with on or prior to
the consummation of the Merger) or the Holders which are contained in or made
pursuant to the terms and conditions of this Agreement or the Shareholder Letter
Agreement.

      11.2     Appointment of Representative.  Each of the Holders hereby
               -----------------------------                            
appoints Peter J. Barris as such Holder's exclusive agent to act on such
Holder's behalf with respect to any and all Indemnity Claims arising under this
Agreement.  In such representative capacity, or any person who shall succeed in
such representative capacity pursuant to the terms of the Escrow Agreement
referred to in Sections 8.5 and 9.5 hereof, is sometimes referred to in this
Agreement as the "Representative."  The Representative shall take, and the
Holders agree that the Representative shall take, any and all actions which he
believes are necessary or appropriate under this Agreement for and on behalf of
the Holders, as fully as if the Holders were acting on their own behalf,
including, without limitation, defending all Indemnity Claims, consenting to,
compromising or settling all Indemnity Claims, conducting negotiations with the
Parent and its representatives regarding such claims, dealing with the Parent
and the Escrow Agent under the Escrow Agreement referred to in Sections 8.5 and
9.5 hereof with respect to all matters arising under such Escrow Agreement,
taking any and all other actions specified in or contemplated by this Agreement
and engaging counsel, accountants or other representatives in connection with
the foregoing matters.  The Parent and such Escrow Agent shall have the right to
rely upon all actions taken or omitted to be taken by the Representative
pursuant to this Agreement and the Escrow Agreement, all of which actions or
omissions shall be legally binding upon each of the Holders.

      11.3     Notification of Claims.  Subject to the provisions of Section
               ----------------------                                      
11.4 below, in the event of the occurrence of an event which the Parent asserts
constitutes an Indemnity Claim, Parent shall provide the Representative (on
behalf of the indemnifying parties) with prompt written notice of such event and
shall otherwise promptly make available to the Representative all relevant
information which is material to the claim and which is in the possession of the
indemnified party.  If such event involves the claim of any third party (a
"Third-Party Claim"), the Representative as the indemnifying party shall have
the right to elect to join in the defense, settlement, adjustment or compromise
of any such Third-Party Claim, and, if he so elects to control such defense,
settlement, adjustment or compromise, and to employ counsel to assist

                                      -42-
<PAGE>

such indemnifying party in connection with the handling of such claim, at the
sole expense of the indemnifying party, to be paid from amounts held in escrow
by the Escrow Agent in accordance with the terms of the Escrow Agreement. Unless
the Representative elects to assume such defense, settlement, adjustment or
compromise, Parent shall have the right to settle any such Third-Party Claim;
provided, however, that Parent may not effect the settlement, adjustment or
- --------  -------                                                         
compromise of any such Third-Party Claim without the consent of the
Representative, which consent shall not be unreasonably withheld.  In the event
that the Representative has consented to any such settlement, adjustment or
compromise, the Representative shall have no power or authority to object to the
amount of any claim by Parent against the escrow for indemnity with respect to
such settlement, adjustment or compromise.  The Representative shall have the
right to settle, adjust, or compromise any Third-Party Claim, the defense of
which is controlled by the Representative, using amounts held in escrow;
provided, however, that, unless the settlement, adjustment or compromise
- --------  -------                                                      
involves no more than the payment of an amount that is less than the amount of
funds then remaining in the escrow and provides for the unconditional release of
Parent, the Company and their respective affiliates, the Representative may not
effect the settlement, adjustment, compromise or satisfaction of any such Third-
Party Claim without the consent of the Parent, which consent shall not be
unreasonably withheld.  Parent's failure to give timely notice or to promptly
furnish the Representative with any relevant data and documents in connection
with any Third-Party Claim shall not constitute a defense (in part or in whole)
to any claim for indemnification by such party, except and only to the extent
that such failure shall result in any prejudice to the indemnifying party.  In
connection with any Third-Party Claim, the indemnified party, or the
indemnifying party if it has assumed the defense of such claim pursuant to the
preceding sentence, shall diligently pursue the defense of such Third-Party
Claim.

      11.4     Duration.  Except as otherwise provided in this Agreement, all
               --------                                                     
representations, warranties, covenants and agreements of the parties contained
in or made pursuant to this Agreement, and the rights of the parties to seek
indemnification with respect thereto, shall survive the Closing but, except in
respect of any claims for indemnification as to which notice shall have been
duly given prior to the relevant expiration date set forth below, the
representations and warranties of the Company and the Holders contained in this
Agreement and the Shareholder Letter Agreement shall expire on the first
anniversary of the Closing Date.  To be duly given, any such notice shall set
forth in reasonable detail the nature of such claim, the provisions under this
Agreement or the Shareholder Letter Agreement pursuant to which such claim is
being asserted and, to the extent feasible, a reasonable estimate of the
anticipated amount of such claim.

      11.5     Escrow.  At the Effective Time, ten percent (10%) of the Merger
               ------                                                        
Shares and instruments or other documentation representing Stock Options to
purchase ten percent (10%) of the Option Shares and Warrants to purchase ten
percent (10%) of the Warrant Shares (collectively, the "Escrow Shares") shall be
delivered to State Street Bank and Trust Company, as escrow agent (the "Escrow
Agent") to be held for a period ending on the first anniversary of the Closing
Date.  Parent may make a claim for any Losses indemnified hereunder until the
first anniversary of the Closing Date.  The Escrow Shares shall be held and
disbursed by the Escrow

                                      -43-
<PAGE>

Agent in accordance with an Escrow Agreement in the form attached hereto as
Exhibit D. Except with respect to claims based on fraud committed by the Company
- ---------                                             
or any Holder which are not limited, if the Closing occurs, Parent agrees that
Parent's sole and exclusive remedy and recourse against each of the Holders
under this Agreement for Losses attributable to any inaccuracy or breach of any
representation or warranty of the Company or the Holders which is contained in
this Agreement or the Shareholder Letter Agreement or any Schedule or
certificate delivered pursuant hereto or thereto or any breach or nonfulfillment
of, or any failure to perform, any of the covenants or undertakings of the
Company (which covenants, agreements or undertakings were to be performed or
complied with on or prior to the consummation of the Merger) or the Holders
which are contained in or made pursuant to this Agreement or the Shareholder
Letter Agreement shall be against such Holder's pro rata share of the Merger
Shares, Option Shares and Warrant Shares held in escrow pursuant to the Escrow
Agreement. Notwithstanding anything herein to the contrary, the Holders shall
have no liability for indemnification pursuant to this Article XI until the
aggregate Losses to the Parent and the Company exceed $100,000, at which point
each Holder shall be liable only for his or its pro rata share of the amount of
such Losses in excess of $100,000.

      11.6     No Contribution.  Each Holder hereby waives, and acknowledges and
               ---------------                                                 
agrees that such Holder shall not have and shall not exercise or assert (or
attempt to exercise or assert), any right of contribution, right of indemnity or
other right or remedy against the Parent or the Company in connection with any
indemnification obligation or any other liability which such Holder may become
subject under or in connection with this Agreement or the Escrow Agreement.

                                  ARTICLE XII

                              REGISTRATION RIGHTS

      12.1     Registration Rights.  (a) Parent shall file with the SEC a
               -------------------                                      
registration statement on Form S-3 (or any successor form to Form S-3) for a
public resale offering of the shares of Parent Common Stock issuable to or on
behalf of Holders under Section 2.2(a) (other than the shares of Parent Common
Stock which are subject to restrictions on transfer under the Employment
Agreements referred to in Section 8.5(i)) and the shares of Parent Common Stock
issuable upon exercise of the Warrants within twenty (20) business days after
the Closing Date (provided that Parent shall not be required to register shares
on behalf of any Holder who has not timely performed its or his obligations
hereunder, or under the Shareholder Letter Agreement or Letter of Transmittal,
in which case Parent shall be permitted to delay the registration of the shares
held by such Holder until five business days after the Holder has complied with
such obligations) and shall use commercially reasonable efforts to cause such
registration statement to become and remain effective for the period ending on
the first to occur of (x) the date the resale of all shares registered
thereunder is complete or (y) the first anniversary of the effective date of
such registration statement.  If for any reason Parent is not eligible to file
such registration statement

                                      -44-
<PAGE>

on Form S-3 (or any successor form to Form S-3), Parent shall effect such
registration using such form as Parent is then eligible to use.

          (b) In the case of any registration pursuant to this Section 12.1,
Parent shall keep each person whose securities are to be registered thereunder
(a "Selling Stockholder") advised of the initiation and completion of such
registration.  At its expense, except as provided in Section 12.1(b)(iv) below,
Parent will promptly:

              (i)       Prepare and file with the SEC the registration statement
described in Section 12.1(a) above and thereafter use commercially reasonable
efforts to cause such registration statement to become effective;

              (ii)      Prepare and file with the SEC such amendments and
supplements to such registration statement and the prospectuses used in
connection with such registration statement as may be necessary to comply with
the provisions of the Securities Act with respect to the disposition of all
securities covered by such registration statement;

              (iii)     Furnish to the Selling Stockholders such numbers of
copies of a prospectus, including a preliminary prospectus, in conformity with
the requirements of the Securities Act, and such other documents as they may
reasonably request in order to facilitate the disposition of the securities
covered by such registration statement;

              (iv)      Use commercially reasonable efforts to register and
qualify the securities covered by such registration statement under such other
securities or Blue Sky laws of such jurisdictions as shall be reasonably
requested by the Selling Stockholders, provided that Parent shall not be
required in connection therewith or as a condition thereto to qualify to do
business or to file a general consent to service of process in any such states
or jurisdictions;

              (v)       Notify each Selling Stockholder covered by such
registration statement at any time when a prospectus relating thereto is
required to be delivered under the Securities Act of the happening of any event
as a result of which the prospectus included in such registration statement, as
then in effect, includes an untrue statement of a material fact or omits to
state a material fact required to be stated therein or necessary to make the
statements therein not misleading in the light of the circumstances then
existing;

              (vi)      Cause all such shares of Parent Common Stock to be
listed on each securities exchange or market system on which similar securities
issued by the Parent are then listed; and

              (vii)     Provide a transfer agent and registrar for all such
shares of Parent Common Stock not later than the effective dates of such
registration statements.

                                      -45-
<PAGE>

            (c) Each Selling Stockholder and the Company shall provide Parent
with all necessary and reasonable assistance in the preparation and filing of
the registration statement required to be prepared and filed by Parent and all
other obligations of Parent under this Section 12.1. Parent's obligations under
this Section 12.1 are conditioned in all respects on the provision of all
necessary and reasonable assistance to Parent by each Selling Stockholder.

            (d) Parent shall pay the expenses incurred by it in complying with
its obligations under this Article XII, including all registration and filing
fees, exchange listing fees, fees and expenses of counsel for Parent, and fees
and expenses of accountants for Parent.

            (e) Parent shall have the right, upon the advice of the Board of
Directors of Parent (the "Board"), upon giving written notice to each Selling
Stockholder of the exercise of such right, to require such Selling Stockholder
not to sell any shares pursuant to the registration statement filed pursuant to
Section 12.1(a) for a reasonable period (as determined in good faith by the
Board) from the date on which such notice is given (a "black-out period"), if
(i)(A) Parent is engaged in or proposes to engage within ten days in discussions
or negotiations with respect to, or has proposed or taken a substantial step to
commence, or there otherwise is pending, any merger, acquisition, other form of
business combination, divesture, tender offer, financing or other transaction,
or there is an event or state of facts relating to Parent, in each case which is
material to Parent (as reasonably determined by the Board) ( any such
negotiation, step, event or state of facts being herein called  "Material
Activity"), (B) in the reasonable judgment of the Board, after consultation with
and acting upon the written advice of outside counsel, disclosure of such
Material Activity would be necessary or advisable under applicable securities
laws and (C) such disclosure would, in the reasonable judgment of the Board, be
adverse to the interests of Parent, or (ii) the Board, in its reasonable
judgment, deems it necessary to file a post-effective amendment to such
registration statement or to prepare a supplement to, or otherwise amend, the
form of prospectus contained therein.  During any such black-out period, each
Selling Stockholder agrees not to sell any Registrable Shares under such
registration statement for such period of time as the Board, acting on the
written advice of outside counsel, may in good faith deem advisable; provided,
however, that no single black-out period will be longer than thirty (30)
calendar days and, in the aggregate, all black-out periods in any twelve (12)
month period shall not include more than ninety (90) calendar days.  The period
of effectiveness of any registration statement in effect at the time of a black-
out period and the termination period under Section 12.4(a) shall be extended
for a period equal to the black-out period.

      12.2  Indemnification.  (a) Parent agrees to indemnify and hold harmless,
            ---------------                                         
to the extent permitted by law, each holder of Parent Common Stock with rights
under this Section 12, against all damages caused by any untrue or alleged
untrue statement of material fact contained in any registration statement,
prospectus or preliminary prospectus or any amendment thereof or supplement
thereto or any omission or alleged omission of a material fact required to be
stated therein or necessary to make the statements therein not misleading,
except insofar as the same are caused by or contained in any information
furnished in writing to Parent by such holder expressly for use therein or by
such holder's failure to deliver a copy of the registration statement

                                      -46-
<PAGE>

or prospectus or any amendments or supplements thereto after Parent has
furnished such holder with a sufficient number of copies of the same.

            (b) In connection with any registration statement in which a holder
of Parent Common Stock with rights under this Section 12 is participating, each
such holder will furnish to Parent in writing such information and affidavits as
Parent reasonably requests for use in connection with any such registration
statement or prospectus and, to the extent permitted by law, will indemnify and
hold harmless Parent, its directors and officers and each Person who controls
Parent (within the meaning of the Securities Act) against all damages resulting
from any untrue or alleged untrue statement of material fact contained in the
registration statement, prospectus or preliminary prospectus or any amendment
thereof or supplement thereto or any omission or alleged omission of a material
fact required to be stated therein or necessary to make the statements therein
not misleading, but only to the extent that such untrue statement or omission is
contained in any information or affidavit so furnished in writing by such holder
specifically for use in such registration statement; provided that the
obligation to indemnify will be several, not joint and several, among such
holders and the liability of each such holder will be in proportion to and
limited to the net amount received by such holder from the sale of Parent Common
Stock with rights under this Section 12, pursuant to such registration
statement.

            (c) Any Person entitled to indemnification hereunder will (i) give
prompt written notice to the indemnifying party of any claim with respect to
which it seeks indemnification and (ii) unless in such indemnified party's
reasonable judgment a conflict of interest between such indemnified and
indemnifying parties may exist with respect to such claim, permit such
indemnifying party to assume the defense of such claim with counsel reasonably
satisfactory to the indemnified party.  If such defense is assumed, the
indemnifying party will not be subject to any liability for any consent to the
entry of any judgment or any settlement made by the indemnified party without
its consent (but such consent will not be unreasonably withheld). An
indemnifying party who is not entitled to, or elects not to, assume the defense
of a claim will not be obligated to pay the fees and expenses of more than one
counsel for all parties indemnified by such indemnifying party with respect to
such claim, unless in the reasonable judgment of any indemnified party a
conflict of interest may exist between such indemnified party and any other of
such indemnified parties with respect to such claim.

            (d) The indemnification provided for under this Agreement will
remain in full force and effect regardless of any investigation made by or on
behalf of the indemnified party or any officer, director or controlling person
of such indemnified party and will survive the transfer of securities and the
Merger.

      12.3  Current Public Information.  Until the earlier of the second
            --------------------------                                 
anniversary of the Closing Date or the date all shares of Parent Common Stock
subject to this Section 12 have been sold, Parent will timely file all reports
required to be filed by it under the Securities Act and the Securities Exchange
Act of 1934, as amended, and the rules and regulations adopted by the SEC
thereunder, and will take such further action as any holder or holders of Parent
Common Stock

                                      -47-
<PAGE>

with rights under Section 12.1 may reasonably request, all to the extent
required to enable such holders to sell their shares pursuant to Rule 144 under
the Securities Act and pursuant to Form S-3 or similar registration form
hereunder adopted by the SEC. Upon written request, Parent will deliver to such
holders a written statement as to whether it has complied with such
requirements.

      12.4     Termination of Registration Rights.  Notwithstanding the
               ----------------------------------                     
foregoing provisions of this Article XII, Parent's obligations pursuant to
Section 12.1 shall terminate upon (a) the first anniversary of the effective
date of the registration statement filed under Section 12.1, or (b) if earlier,
with respect to a given Holder, at the time such Holder may sell all of his or
her shares of Parent Common Stock in compliance with Rule 144 in a single 90 day
period under the Securities Act.

      12.5     Transferability of Registration Rights.  The rights under this
               --------------------------------------                       
Section 12 are not transferable except (a) a transfer by will or intestacy, (b)
estate planning transfers consisting of gifts to the spouse or issue of the
transferee and transfers to trusts for the benefit of the spouse or issue of the
transferee, (c) a transfer to the constituent partners of a Selling Stockholder
that is a partnership as part of a pro rata distribution of the shares of Parent
Common Stock held by such partnership so long as all such transferees appoint a
single representative as their attorney-in-fact for the purpose of receiving any
notices and exercising their rights under this Article XII, and each transferee
represents to Parent that it is an "accredited" investor as defined in Rule 501
promulgated under the Securities Act, or (d) with the written consent of Parent.

                                 ARTICLE XIII

                           MISCELLANEOUS PROVISIONS

      13.1     Amendment.  This Agreement may be amended by written agreement
               ---------                                                    
among the Company and the Parent prior to the Effective Time.

      13.2     Waiver of Compliance.  Except as otherwise provided in this
               --------------------                                      
Agreement, any failure of any of the parties to comply with any obligation,
covenant or agreement contained herein may be waived only by a written notice
from the party or parties entitled to the benefits thereof.  No failure by any
party hereto to exercise, and no delay in exercising, any right hereunder, shall
operate as a waiver thereof, nor shall any single or partial exercise of any
right hereunder preclude any other or future exercise of that right by that
party.

      13.3     Notices.  All notices and other communications hereunder shall be
               -------                                                         
deemed given if given in writing and delivered personally, by registered or
certified mail, return receipt requested, postage prepaid, or by overnight
courier to the party to receive the same at its respective address set forth
below (or at such other address as may from time to time be designated by such
party to the others in accordance with this Section 13.3):

                                      -48-
<PAGE>

          (a)  if to the Company or the Principal Shareholders, to:

               Tripod, Inc.
               160 Water Street
               Williamstown, MA  01267
               Attention:  Bo Peabody

               with copies to:

               Hale and Dorr LLP
               60 State Street
               Boston, MA  02109
               Attention:  John H. Chory, Esq.

          (b)  if to the Parent or Acquisition, to:

               Lycos, Inc.
               500 Old Connecticut Path
               Framingham, MA  01701
               Attention:  Chief Financial Officer

               with copies to:

               Hutchins, Wheeler & Dittmar
               101 Federal Street
               Boston, MA  02110
               Attention:  Michael J. Riccio, Jr., Esq.

          (c)  If to the Representative:

               Peter J. Barris
               c/o New Enterprise Associates
               11911 Freedom Drive
               One Fountain Square, Suite 580
               Reston, VA  20190

     All such notices and communications hereunder shall be deemed given when
received, as evidenced by the signed acknowledgment of receipt of the person to
whom such notice or communication shall have been personally delivered, the
acknowledgment of receipt returned to the sender by the applicable postal
authorities or the confirmation of delivery rendered by the applicable overnight
courier service.

                                      -49-
<PAGE>

      13.4     Assignment.  This Agreement and all of the provisions hereof
               ----------                                                 
shall be binding upon and inure to the benefit of the parties hereto and their
respective successors (or, in the case of the Principal Shareholders, their
respective heirs, administrators, executors and personal representatives) and
permitted assigns.  Neither this Agreement nor any rights, duties or obligations
hereunder shall be assigned by any party hereto without the prior written
consent of the other parties hereto, except that vested rights to receive
payment or to initiate legal action with respect to causes of action that have
accrued hereunder shall be assignable by devise, descent or operation of law.

      13.5     No Third Party Beneficiaries.  Neither this Agreement or any
               ----------------------------                               
provision hereof nor any Schedule, certificate or other instrument delivered
pursuant hereto, nor any agreement to be entered into pursuant hereto or any
provision hereof, is intended to create any right, claim or remedy in favor of
any person or entity, other than the parties hereto and their respective
successors (or, in the case of the Principal Shareholders, their respective
heirs, administrators, executors and personal representatives) and permitted
assigns.

      13.6     Public Announcements.  Promptly upon execution and delivery of
               --------------------                                         
this Agreement, the Parent and the Company shall issue a press release in such
form as they shall mutually agree.  Thereafter, and prior to the consummation of
the Merger or the termination of this Agreement, none of the parties hereto
shall, except as mutually agreed by the Parent and the Company, or except as may
be required by law or applicable regulatory authority (including, without
limitation, the rules applicable to Nasdaq National Market companies), issue any
reports, releases, announcements or other statements to the public relating to
the transactions contemplated hereby.

      13.7     Brokers and Finders.  The Company and the Principal Shareholders
               -------------------                                            
represent and warrant that, except for MS&Co., no broker, finder or investment
banker is entitled to any brokerage, finder's or other fee or commission based
on arrangements made by or on behalf of the Company.  The Company has previously
delivered to the Parent a complete and correct copy of the agreement dated
August 12, 1997, between the Company and MS&Co., and such agreement is the only
agreement between such parties.  The Parent and Acquisition represent and
warrant that, except for Credit Suisse First Boston, no broker, finder or
investment banker is entitled to any brokerage, finder's or other fee or
commission based on arrangements made by or on behalf of the Parent.  Except as
otherwise contemplated herein, the Holders shall pay the fees and expenses of
any broker, finder or investment banker engaged by the Company or any Holders.

      13.8     Counterparts.  This Agreement may be executed in any number of
               ------------                                                 
counterparts, each of which shall be deemed an original, but all of which
together shall constitute one and the same instrument.

      13.9     Headings.  The article and section headings contained in this
               --------                                                    
Agreement are solely for convenience of reference, are not part of the agreement
of the parties and shall not be

                                      -50-
<PAGE>

used in construing this Agreement or in any way affect the meaning or
interpretation of this Agreement.

      13.10    Entire Agreement.  This Agreement, and the Schedules,
               ----------------                                    
certificates and other instruments and documents delivered pursuant hereto,
together with the other agreements referred to herein and to be entered into
pursuant hereto, embody the entire agreement of the parties hereto in respect
of, and there are no other agreements or understandings, written or oral, among
the parties relating to, the subject matter hereof, other than the
Confidentiality Agreements.  This Agreement supersedes all prior agreements and
understandings, written or oral, between the parties with respect to such
subject matter, other than the Confidentiality Agreements.

      13.11    Governing Law.  The parties hereby agree that this Agreement, and
               -------------                                                   
the respective rights, duties and obligations of the parties hereunder, shall be
governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of the Commonwealth of
Massachusetts, without giving effect to principles of conflicts of law
thereunder, except for the provisions of Article I hereto setting forth the
provisions for consummating, and the effects of, the Merger, which shall be
governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of the State of Delaware.
Each of the parties hereby (i) irrevocably consents and agrees that any legal or
equitable action or proceeding arising under or in connection with this
Agreement shall be brought exclusively in the Federal or state courts sitting in
Boston, Massachusetts and any court to which an appeal may be taken in any such
litigation, and (ii) by execution and delivery of this Agreement, irrevocably
submits to and accepts, with respect to any such action or proceeding, for
itself and in respect of its properties and assets, generally and
unconditionally, the jurisdiction of the aforesaid courts, and irrevocably
waives any and all rights such party may now or hereafter have to object to such
jurisdiction.



                       *               *               *

                                      -51-
<PAGE>

  IN WITNESS WHEREOF, the Parent, Acquisition, the Company and the Shareholders
named below have caused this Agreement to be duly executed and delivered as of
the date first above written.


                                 LYCOS, INC.


                                 By: /s/  Edward M. Philip           
                                     ----------------------------
                                     Name: Edward M. Philip
                                     Title: Chief Operating Officer


                                 POD ACQUISITION CORP.


                                 By: /s/  Edward M. Philip
                                     ----------------------------
                                     Name: Edward M. Philip
                                     Title: President


                                 TRIPOD, INC.


                                 By: /s/ Bo Peabody
                                     ----------------------------
                                     Name: Bo Peabody
                                     Title: President


                                 PRINCIPAL SHAREHOLDERS:


                                 /s/ Bo Peabody
                                 --------------------------------
                                 Bo Peabody


                                 /s/ Richard Sabot
                                 --------------------------------
                                 Richard Sabot

                                      -52-

Source: OneCLE Business Contracts.