RealTime IT News

Ticketmaster Online-CitySearch Enters Venture in Japan

Ticketmaster Online-CitySearch Inc. and a consortium of Japanese companies led by Kadokawa Shoten Publishing Co. Ltd. and Sumitomo formed a joint venture company, Walkerplus.com Inc., to provide city guide destination sites and services in Japan.

Kadokawa Shoten is a Japanese media company and publisher of Walker, an arts and entertainment guide available in several cities in Japan.

Also participating are Trans Cosmos USA Inc., a global strategic investment and business development company focused on the Japanese marketplace; NTT Group Co.; Toshiba Corp., JCB Co. LTD.; and Shufontano Co. Ltd.

Walkerplus.com Inc., will be initially capitalized at approximately $30 million, the partners said.

As part of the agreement, Ticketmaster Online-CitySearch will hold an ownership interest in the joint venture and will enter into an exclusive five-year license to provide technology and business methods to the joint venture in Japan.

Financial terms of the license agreement were not disclosed.

" These are terrific partners and we will expand on our international footprint via this agreement into one of the largest and fastest growing online audiences in the world," said Charles Conn, chief executive officer of Ticketmaster Online-CitySearch.

With more than 12.6 million users, Japan's Internet market is the third largest in Asia after Singapore and Hong Kong, according to Nikkei Business Publications. Growth has been estimated to reach over 32 million Internet users by 2003.