RealTime IT News

AOL, drkoop.com in $89 Million Content Deal

In a deal cutting across all that the mega site has to offer, America Online, Inc. and drkoop.com, Inc. Tuesday announced a four-year, $89 million alliance.

Under the terms of the deal, AOL will roll out drkoop.com content across its five brands by this fall and receive performance-based warrants to purchase shares in the medical information company. In return, drkoop.com will pay out $89 million over four years.

drkoop.com will also have access to AOL's sales force, will support the launch of new AOL products and services, and will also use software from the Sun-Netscape alliance to support its services, the firms said.

"drkoop.com is the nation's leading dedicated online consumer healthcare network, and for decades, Dr. Koop's message of openness and education has resonated with Americans as they have looked for the information that will allow them to make better health care decisions," said Bob Pittman, AOL's CEO.

"This agreement is also a clear example of the end-to-end e-commerce solutions that AOL, the Sun-Netscape Alliance and Sun Microsystems as a cohesive team can bring to our enterprise customers."

"This partnership firmly establishes drkoop.com's dominance in the online healthcare arena -- no one can boast the traffic, presence and critical mass that we've secured through this exciting alliance with AOL," said Don Hackett, drkoop.com's president and CEO.

Media Metrix's April and May reports dubbed drkoop.com as the top Internet healthcare site.

In addition to its deal with AOL, drkoop.com also has agreements in place with GO Health Center, ABCNEWS.com, ESPN.com Training Room and the Family.com Health Channel.

In another content deal, AOL signed Tuesday a two-year advertising agreement with Autoweb.com to bring the online auto dealer's services to the AOL Network.

"This agreement not only extends our reach to the large base of AOL members, but also gives Autoweb.com broad reach in selected automotive areas across AOL brands," said Dean DeBiase, president and CEO of Autoweb.com. "This added presence is a key component of our overall brand-building strategy to become the dominant Internet consumer automotive service."

Autoweb.com has similar agreements in place with Yahoo! and HotBot.