AOL, Seal $56 Million Deal

America Online Inc. Thursday made a multi-million dollar investment in as part of a distribution and marketing alliance that will make the exclusive provider of Internet postage services across all AOL brands.

As part of the deal, (STMP) will invest $56 million in America Online (AOL) over the next three years. The three-year agreement expands an existing alliance between the two companies that has helped drive the number of pre-registrants for the service to more than 100,000 subscribers.

Already approved by the U.S. Postal Service, allows consumers to print postage at any time of the day or night using their computer, printer and Internet connection.

Bob Pittman, AOL president and chief operating officer, said the company believes its customers will like the idea of being able to access postage services anytime.

“ is a leader in Internet postage, an industry of growing interest to many different segments of the online community,” Pittman said. “Whether it’s individuals, small businesses, or corporate enterprise, working together AOL and will be able to make this service both easy to use and easily available.”

John Payne, chief executive officer, said they were happy to ally themselves with the world’s number one Internet brand.

“Through this alliance, has further established itself as the leader in the Internet Postage category,” Payne said. “By making the service easily accessible to the enormous number of current and future users of several key AOL brands, we expect to significantly expand our customer base, especially within our primary small business target market.”

Also part of the agreement, will become the exclusive Internet postage sponsor on
Netscape’s Delivery Center and on future shipping sites within the AOL and CompuServe services. will be AOL’s premier Internet postage partner in the AOL, Netscape Netcenter, CompuServe, and Digital City postage centers and will sponsor numerous small business and mail-related areas across the AOL family of brands.

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