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Snap! Joins Growing List of Portals Offering Free E-Mail

CNET Inc. and e-mail provider iName today entered into a three-year strategic alliance to co-develop a free e-mail service.

The service, which will be powered by iName and co-branded with CNET's Snap!, is slated to launch in mid-June as a new offering on the Web portal. Snap! also offers news, chat, weather forecasts, and yellow page resources, among other features.

Snap! becomes the latest site in the Web portal space to offer free e-mail to its users, joining the likes of Microsoft, Yahoo!, Excite, and Netscape.

CNET and iName said the partnership is also aimed at promoting iName's network infrastructure and services through exposure to the Snap! audience. Additionally, CNET will provide links from its other sites and lend marketing support for the e-mail service.

Advertising for the project will be sold through iName, and the companies said they plan to split the resulting revenues. CNET also announced today it will take an equity position in iName.

Snap! users taking advantage of the free e-mail service will get a permanent address; universal accessibility; e-mail retrieval from Snap!'s Web site; and multi-communication functionality including language translation features.

"The vision for Web-based messaging surpasses the e-mail correspondence we're familiar with today," said Tom Melcher, General Manager of Snap! "Our highly competitive email service will be the communications cornerstone of Snap!, allowing users the freedom to have one e-mail account for life. We selected iName for its technical superiority, reliability and OEM business model and expect e-mail to be a tremendous traffic builder for Snap!"



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