RealTime IT News

Bell Canada, Lycos Enter Joint Venture

Bell Canada and Lycos Inc. Wednesday created a new Internet company, Sympatico-Lycos, that will provide Canadians with expanded Internet resources for the business-to-consumer marketplace.

As part of the agreement, Bell Canada will invest Cdn$37 million (U.S. $25 million) to form with Lycos Inc. (LCOS) a new company named Sympatico-Lycos, majority owned by Bell.

Separately, Bell ActiMedia and Lycos signed a Cdn$60 million (U.S. $40 million) multi-year distribution agreement.

Through the Sympatico-Lycos portal, Canadians will enjoy a significant new Internet experience that combines world-class Internet technology and applications, including search, community, personalization, e-mail, city guides and a wealth of Canadian content.

"With the Sympatico-Lycos joint venture, Bell Canada will greatly strengthen its position as the number one Internet company in Canada," said Jean C. Monty, Bell Canada's chairman and chief executive officer.

"Our objective behind the joint venture is to leverage the capabilities of both partners to create the most advanced business-to-consumer portal for English- and French-speaking Canadians, with the best interactivity and content."

Sympatico's Web site is now accessed by more Canadian and foreign visitors than any other portal in Canada. The new portal is expected to attract even greater interest from the Internet community, by representing online Canadians to sellers through e-commerce applications across North America.

Bob Davis, Lycos president and chief executive officer, said their global strategy is to align with first-class companies with strong local infrastructure.

He said teaming with Bell Canada allows both companies to leverage their strengths to create a powerhouse portal that best meets the needs of the Canadian Internet user.

Sympatico.ca is Canada's leading portal with over 75 million pages views and 2.8 million unique visitors per month.

Sympatico is already a major Canadian brand on the Internet. With more than 100 million pages viewed each month, Sympatico and its other Internet properties generate more than Cdn$17.5 million (US $12 million) per year of online advertising revenues.