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Go2Net Signs Licensing Pact with Intershop

Go2Net Inc., a network of branded technology- and community-driven Web sites signed a licensing agreement with Intershop Communications Inc., a supplier of electronic commerce hosting solutions.

Intershop will provide easy-to-use, browser-based interfaces for setting up online storefronts to members of Go2Net's HyperMart and Virtual Avenue business hosting services.

HyperMart and Virtual Avenue together claim more than 375,000 small and medium-sized businesses as members, growing at the combined rate of more than 1,000 new member businesses per day.

Using Intershop's ePages and Intershop3 e-commerce solutions, Go2Net said it will provide its HyperMart and Virtual Avenue business members with a series of cost-effective options to build e-commerce capabilities for their respective businesses. Financial terms of the arrangement were not disclosed.

The Intershop software makes store acquisition, set-up and design possible for any business with access to a Web browser. Intershop's customizable options enable businesses to start out at very basic levels and add more sophisticated features and functionalities as their businesses grow online.

"Adding Intershop's e-commerce technologies to the services currently offered through HyperMart and Virtual Avenue, Authorize.Net's transaction processing services and the Haggle Online auction services creates a leading end-to-end commerce solution for small and medium sized businesses," said Russell C. Horowitz, CEO of Go2Net.

Go2Net last week acquired Authorize.Net, a payment authorization system for online businesses that has relationships with more than 34,000 online merchants.

Go2Net also recently acquired the Haggle Online auction service, which will be extended to HyperMart and Virtual Avenue members. Go2Net said it plans to integrate the Authorize.Net and Intershop offerings into the HyperMart and Virtual Avenue sites within three months.

Go2Net and Vulcan Ventures Inc. yesterday announced a $20 million cash investment in CommTouch Software Ltd., a deal that will make free e-mail services available to HyperMart and Virtual Avenue business members.

Since Go2Net's acquisition of HyperMart in August 1998, the service has grown from approximately 60,000 member businesses to more than 235,000. Go2Net acquired Virtual Avenue in April 1999, and the site has since expanded from 85,000 member businesses to more than 140,000.