RealTime IT News

Experian, Form MyPoints Europe

Great Universal Stores (GUS) subsidiary Experian Tuesday formed a joint venture with to provide Internet loyalty solutions to clients in Europe.

Together, the two companies will develop and operate loyalty infrastructure services, with GUS putting up $13 million to finance the venture and contributing its Digital Loyalty Engine to power the rewards programs.

With a 14 per cent stake in the company, Experian is the largest shareholder in

GUS Chief Executive John Peace said the deal demonstrated the e-commerce potential of GUS's information services business and underlined its strategy to capitalize on the Internet market.

Experian, which is the world's largest database services provider, expects to take a respectable share of the rapidly-growing European e-commerce market where annual revenues are expected to exceed $323 billion by 2003.

Martin Trees, president of strategic planning at Experian, said he had every confidence that the success of in the U.S. will be replicated in Europe.

"GUS's recently announced strategic review has ensured that our business is structured to maximize the potential of e-commerce initiatives," said Trees.

Noah Doyle, vice president of international development at, pointed out that Experian already services corporate clients in the database services arena.

"Experian and will seek to build on these well-established relationships as we implement the MyPoints program in Europe," said Doyle.

A provider of Internet direct marketing services, combines targeted email with Web-based offers and incentive points to encourage users to respond both online and offline. has devised custom loyalty programs for Internet companies such as, GTE, Prodigy, and StarMedia Network.