AOL Time Warner teams with H&R Block

Media conglomerate AOL Time Warner Inc. (AOLTW) and tax titan H&R Block Inc. announced Tuesday that they have entered into an exclusive multiyear alliance and joint marketing deal, aimed at delivering their respective services to each other's broad customer bases.

Under the agreement, H&R Block will become the preferred tax service provider for a number of AOLTW brands, and will enjoy marketing across the media powerhouse's online, on-air and print holdings, the companies said.

In addition, H&R Block will become the exclusive provider of tax preparation services and advice for America Online Inc.'s (AOL) Tax Centers, as well as CompuServe, and, in addition to being featured within and AOL's Digital City.

Some of H&R Block's featured services will include online tax preparation services, the company's TaxCut software and access to its national network of tax offices. The tax services will launch on AOL's Online Tax Center later in the third quarter of this year. It will launch across other AOL brands by the end of the year.

In exchange, the AOL software will be promoted to H&R Block's tax office clients, who number nearly 17 million, the companies said.

The deal enables H&R Block to fulfill its Internet strategy, while taking advantage of AOLTW's diverse marketing opportunities, representatives for the company said in a statement.

For AOLTW, the agreement yet again proves the company's ability to leverage its vast media holdings to produce broad-sweeping marketing campaigns.

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