America Online Latin America Inc. launched its third regional service with
Spanish-language service AOL Mexico
Anticipating the event, the Florida-based hybrid firm last week announced
plans to sell 25 million shares of it stock in its pending initial stock
offering Thursday, under the pending ticker symbol AOLA. Net proceeds are
expected to exceed $300 million and company officials state their plans to
expand their interactive services and telecommunications network capacity
in the region.
The service opens the door to more than 400 million Spanish-speaking
potential customers in Latin America, officials said.
AOL Mexico has already made partnerships with local and regional content
providers, in addition to the content already available through the AOL’s
Eduardo Escalante, AOL Mexico president, said the company’s approach is
popular with Mexican consumers.
“America Online Mexico is the most dynamic interactive service in the
Mexican market,” Escalante said. “Created by Mexicans who truly understand
the needs of Mexican consumers, AOL Mexico delivers a broad range of local
content including news, finance and lifestyles along with features and
services from the very best world-class, global partners.”
AOL Latin America is hoping the launch of its service is more auspicious
than the launch last year of AOL Brasil, the Portuguese equivalent of AOL
Mexico. Last May, the company filed suit in the country against a local
Brasilian Internet service provider over the domain name aol.com.br. The
local company prevailed, forcing AOL Brasil to use the domain name br.aol.com.
Charles Herington, AOL Latin America president and chief executive officer,
said its company provides a needed service in the country.
“AOL has become the world’s leading online service by providing its members
with a unique interactive experience that brings increasing value to their
daily lives,” Herington said. “As the only full-service, online provider
in the Mexican interactive market, we continue our momentum toward becoming
the leading provider in Latin America.”
The Internet market in Latin America is set to explode, with 19.1 million
users by 2003, an International Data Corp.