RealTime IT News Plans to Offer Internet Access Service

Online retailer signed an agreement to develop a customized Internet service based on a marketing alliance with Internet access provider American Interactive Media.

The deal takes on added strategic significance because has agreed to be acquired by Compaq Computer Corp. in a $220 million deal expected to close this spring.

Compaq, in turn, plans to merge into AltaVista, its Web navigation unit, according to Reuters. Compaq announced this week it intends to spin off AltaVista as a separate, publicly traded company. said its Internet service options will include a $9.95 per month introductory offer and a $15.95 per month pay-in-advance plan.

"This service gives us a real point of differentiation from other e-commerce sites," the company said.

American Interactive Media, a marketer of Internet access for interest groups, said it will create a portal page with links to the Web site.

American Interactive also will place in its banner advertising rotation on sites affiliated with it and will use as the primary electronic shopping service for its network of co-branded Internet access providers, Reuters reported.