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RealTime IT News

StarMedia, H-P Team for Latin American E-Commerce Tool

StarMedia and Hewlett-Packard Co. Friday announced plans to co-produce an e-commerce solution that will allow businesses in Latin American to create a Web-based store in one day.

The co-branded solution will offer H-P application hosting, Web-based procurement, and customer services. Merchants can create and host low-cost Web stores, and StarMedia will offer the storefronts a marketing platform on its shopping network.

The service will begin rollout in Brazil next month and is expected to becom available in the rest of Latin America by the end of the year.

"This powerful turnkey solution would address the e-commerce needs of Latin America's growing mid-market merchant community," said Fernando Espuelas, StarMedia's (STRM) chairman and chief executive officer. "By helping merchants to seamlessly build 'virtual stores,' e-services empowers Latin American midsize merchants with the tools to capitalize on untapped business opportunities."

Visa International and IDC estimate that e-commerce revenues for Latin America will spike to $8 billion by 2003.

Merchants can register to install the services online; the companies are in the process of creating the registration site, according to StarMedia. HP and StarMedia intend to take a cut of the e-service fees and revenues, including the merchant e-commerce revenues.

The new alliance will compliment StarMedia's latest e-comm play, the recently launched SkyBox product delivery initiative, according to Espuelas. The alliance with delivery logistics company SkyBox Corp. was launched in June with a roster of partners including 1-800-FLOWERS.com (FLWS), barnesandnoble.com (BNBN), and CDNow (CDNW).