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RealTime IT News

Switchboard, AOL, Rewrite Content Deal

To conserve cash, online directory provider Switchboard has amended its content deal with Internet services provider America Online.

Recasting the agreement, originally inked in December 2000, will save Switchboard $12 million in payments to AOL, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

In exchange, AOL, part of New York media conglomerate AOL Time Warner , will get additional content such as merchant store hours from Switchboard, which they hope will improve the usefulness of the service and persuade more companies pay for listings.

Data from Switchboard is currently used on AOL sites including Netscape, Compuserve, Netquest and Digital Cities. The new agreement, which runs to the end of 2004, also includes revenue sharing between the two companies.

"The restructuring of our agreement once again demonstrates America Online's commitment to developing its online yellow pages business," said Dean Polnerow, president and founder of Switchboard.

In other news, the SEC informed Switchboard that its stock is in danger of being delisted for failing to file its quarterly report by the agency's deadline. Switchboard will appeal the decision and hope to file the documents before a hearing.

The delay is due to a change in auditors, from Arthur Andersen to Ernst & Young, the company said.