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Dialog Corp. Plans Retail, B-to-B E-Commerce Strategy

The Dialog Corp. PLC launched Planet Retail, an Internet-based comparative shopping service for consumers, and said it is planning a business-to-business e-commerce operation.

Dialog is a provider of online information, and has service and technology strengths in electronic data indexing, searching, retrieval and alerting systems.

"E-commerce is an ideal complement to our online information services and represents an unrivalled business opportunity," said Dan Wagner, CEO of Dialog. "With our experience of delivering services over the Internet, and through the application of our proprietary searching and indexing technologies, Dialog is uniquely placed to advance the trend in both the business-to-business and consumer e-commerce markets."

The company explained that in the first phase of the Planet Retail service, in partnership with Junglee Corp., users are able to search the Internet through Planet Retail's interface to determine the best available online prices from approximately 100 Internet retailers in 11 main categories, from books to clothing to electronic products.

Initial participants in this phase, which will be entirely sponsored by advertising include Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble, CD Now, Dell Computers, Eddie Bauer, FAO Schwarz, Gateway2000, JC Penney, Land's End, Music Boulevard, The Gap, Wal-Mart, Disney, Office Depot and Office Max.

The second phase of Planet Retail will add the capability for consumers to make purchases with a broad range of retailers directly from the Planet Retail site. Planet Retail said it will provide confirmation receipts from all retailers and total the expenditures from within the service, relieving users from entering credit card information for each retailer.

The second phase also will incorporate Dialog's InfoSort data indexing technology, designed to enable users to browse product reviews, company profiles, relevant news and research.

In the business-to-business market, the company said it is developing a solution for purchasing managers in small, medium and large organizations. Due to be released in 1999, this solution will provide a purchase management system to reside on corporate intranets.

Dialog is a provider of online information created by the merger of M.A.I.D PLC., and Knight-Ridder Information Inc. with world headquarters in London and U.S. headquarters in Mountain View, CA.