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America Online, eBay Seal $75 Million Alliance

America Online, Inc. and online auctioneer eBay Inc. Thursday said they have expanded their previous alliance under a new four-year, $75 million pact aiming to further e-commerce opportunities.

Several of the AOL's sites will sites promote eBay features, listings, message boards and content to AOL's 16 million members across AOL brands including, including AOL, AOL.COM, CompuServe, Netscape's Netcenter, ICQ and Digital City.

eBay will pay AOL $75 million over the course of the agreement and AOL will receive all advertising revenues generated by the co-branded sites. In addition, AOL will also act as the exclusive third-party advertising sales force for advertising sold on eBay's Web site.

eBay will also enable its users to download ICQ, an instant messaging program AOL recently acquired, on its own site. AOL's "My News" feature will also be incorporated into the "My eBay" area. AOL said it also plans to expand eBay into regional markets via promotion through AOL's Digital City.

"This agreement is great for AOL members and users of our family of brands because it further expands their already dynamic online community, giving them easier access to the largest person-to-person trading community in cyberspace," said Bob Pittman, America Online's president and chief operating officer.

"Not only does this make AOL even more valuable to their everyday lives, it makes AOL's many brands even more accessible to eBay's more than 2.1 million registered users, one of the most active communities anywhere in cyberspace," Pittman said.

"AOL is a leader in creating and managing online communities, and eBay is in a key position to reach a much broader network of Internet users through AOL. By providing AOL users with quicker and more convenient ways to conduct person-to-person trading on eBay, we are continuing to set the standard as the leading personal e-commerce destination," said Meg Whitman, eBay's president and chief executive officer.

"This alliance not only provides us significant customer acquisition opportunities, it serves as an important brand investment."