Bertelsmann, I-Escrow Form European Net Venture

LONDON (06/08/2000) - German media and publishing giant Bertelsmann AG and online escrow services provider i-Escrow Inc. are launching a joint venture to provide transaction settlement and logistics services across Europe, the companies announced today.

The company, called i-Escrow Europe Ltd., will be headquartered in Dublin and will be the launch pad for i-Escrow's plans for international expansion, the companies said in a statement.

The Bertelsmann will oversee its participation in the joint venture through its Financial Services division.

The companies did not disclose how much was being invested in the venture or when i-Escrow Europe will become operational.

I-Escrow is an impartial third party facilitator for secure and convenient online buying and selling, according to its Web site. Its customers include eBay Inc., Amazon.com Inc. and U.K.-based directory service provider LookSmart Ltd.

Neither Bertelsmann or i-Escrow could be immediately reached for comment.

Bertelsmann, based in G├╝tersloh, Germany, can be reached at +49-5241-80-0 or at http://www.bertelsmann.de/. I-Escrow, in Redwood Shores, California, can be contacted at +1-650-598-3800 or at http://www.iescrow.com/.

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