AOL Expands Reach of Digital City Service

LONDON (03/21/2000) - America Online Inc. (AOL) will expand its local online brand, Digital City 2000, from 60 markets to 200 within the next 30 days, AOL announced today.

Furthermore, the local city online guide will also get a wireless service, Digital City Wireless, available over wireless handheld products such as mobile phones and pagers, AOL said in a statement.

The beefed-up version of Digital City will offer content and services from MapQuest.com Inc., a provider of online mapping and navigation services, as well as hundreds of local partners, AOL said. Local content will include entertainment and dining information as well as local resource guides, AOL said.

As part of the Digital City expansion, which is run under the AOL subsidiary Digital City Inc., AOL has signed content agreements with a number of new partners, including OpenTable.com Inc., an online restaurant reservations service, and Imandi Corp., an online locator of local ISPs (Internet service providers), AOL said.

Last December, AOL bought MapQuest.com in an all-stock transaction valued at about US$1.1 billion. [See, "AOL to Buy MapQuest.com for $1.1 Billion," Dec.

22, 1999.]

AOL did not disclose how much it had invested in the Digital City expansion.

In related news, AOL signed a three year alliance agreement with PurchasePro.com Inc. to build an e-commerce business-to-business (B2B) marketplace, AOL announced yesterday. The B2B e-commerce marketplace will serve as a forum for businesses to buy and sell products and services via AOL, the company said in a separate statement.

The B2B e-commerce forum, which is expected to be launched by the end of the second quarter, will be co-developed and co-branded, the company said. AOL and PurchasePro.com plan to share revenue generated from advertising and transactions, AOL said. The companies did not disclose how much has been invested in the project.

As part of the agreement, PurchasePro.com will also provide a co-branded version of AOL Instant Messenger (AIM) on its Web site, AOL said.

AOL, in Dulles, Virginia, is at +1-703-448-8700, or at http://www.aol.com/.

OpenTable.com, in San Francisco, can be contacted at +1-415-551-1510, or at http://www.opentable.com/. Imandi, in Redmond, Washington, can be contacted at +1-425-881-3500, or at http://www.imandi.com/. PurchasePro.com, in Las Vegas, can be contacted at +1-702-316-7000, or at http://corp.purchasepro.com/.

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