A little background…
In 1997, Larry Page of Google (known as BackRub at the time) wanted to sell the search engine to Excite for $1.6 million: $600k in cash, $700k in stock and $300k for Stanford. The deal obviously didn't happen, though the reason why varies depending on who you ask.
In an interview years after the negotiations, then CEO of Excite George Bell said the company was comfortable with spending that amount of money on Google, but instead couldn't agree to Page's insistence on having Excite's technology completely replaced by Google's.
Although Bell has refuted the claims, other takes on the history say that Excite was intimidated by Google's superiority and declined the purchase because its search results were "too good," suggesting that it might ultimately cut user activity and consequently ad revenue as people spent less time on the site.