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RealTime IT News

Spray Portal Arrives In France

Swedish community portal and free ISP Spray.com has unveiled a regional site for France.

The France launch is part of the portal's goal to create a network of sites for the various European communities.

Spray added a Norway site last year, A Germany site last month, and plans to open its Italian site in December. Several unnamed country sites are expected to launch in the next year.

Spray also announced that flat rate Internet access fees will be available in the next few weeks.

Spray's goal is to offer what it calls "friendliness" on the Web, through a mix of e-commerce, content and services. Spray, which claims to be Sweden's first portal, currently boasts 500,000 members out of Sweden's estimated 4.5 million online population.

Spray aims to become one of the top three of American portals within the next year, and one of the top five of in France as well.

The site has so far enlisted a wide variety of partnerships, acquiring Razorfish in 1998, Italy's Clarence portal and Norway's Nettavisen. In France, the company has signed agreements with more than 15 European companies including Allociné, Domain.fr, the AFP, Ikea, Europcar, and Jobline.

To support the portal, Lokace has teamed with Spray for its search engine, while UUnet provides technical support.

Spray will follow up the launch with a FF13 million on- and off-line advertising campaign in France, to be managed by McCann Ericsson.