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Lycos Partners With AT&T for Online Service

Lycos, Inc. and AT&T today announced a three-year agreement under which the companies will jointly produce and distribute service applications and content for the new Lycos Online service.

The deal follows speculation about prospective Internet service provider partners for the Lycos service which CEO Robert Davis alluded to at the Hambrecht & Quist Technology Conference last week.

The "Lycos Online Powered By AT&T WorldNet Service" will feature search and navigation resources, community services, free e-mail, shopping, chat offerings, and personalization functionality for the delivery of customized information.

Under today's agreement, AT&T and Lycos will launch a co-branded "Personal Communications Center" area on Lycos that will function as a gateway to AT&T's telecommunications services.

Communications orders can be placed and billed online in this area, and cover services from AT&T's One Rate Online, AT&T Wireless, AT&T Prepaid phone cards, and AT&T WorldNet.

The companies said they also plan to offer Lycos Online users a range of new multimedia applications such as voice-enabled chat and point-and-click directories. For example, the companies said chat room users will soon be able to turn text-based talk into a voice conversation or "true chat." Testing for these apps is reportedly ongoing.

As part of the agreement, Lycos will give AT&T its Tripod home page building tool which will be offered to users of AT&T's WorldNet Service and AT&T Web sites. In return, AT&T will promote the Lycos Online service to its audience.

"We are pleased to be aligned with one of the world's leading communications and technology companies, and look forward to working with AT&T to expand the reach of both companies to offer our customers new and useful services," said Robert J. Davis, president & CEO of Lycos, in a statement. "We will provide new Web users with a full-featured, low-cost portal into the World Wide Web with Lycos as their guide."

"This important agreement with Lycos is the first in a series of steps AT&T will take to provide people with unprecedented capabilities to communicate with anyone, at any time, using the powerful communications services emerging on the Net," added Dan Schulman, president AT&T WorldNet Service.