Critical Path, Japanese Firms Form Messaging Company

Net messaging company Critical Path Inc. Tuesday
inked a joint venture with Japanese conglomerate Mitsui & Co., Ltd. and telco NTT Communications
Corp. to bring its messaging platform to Japan.

Mitsui will bring its pan-Asia and domestic partnerships to the table as a
reseller, while NTT Com will host the services and provide the backbone for
the messaging applications.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

“The formation of this new company will enable Critical Path to leverage the
tremendous relationships and reach of Mitsui & Co. and NTT Com in Japan as
well as throughout the rest of Asia,” said Doug Hickey, Critical Path’s (CPTH)
president and chief executive officer. Hickey added that he felt the venture
was prepared to take advantage of “exploding” regional growth.

The venture claims to have already lured several big names in the region,
including Nikkei, e-Carnet and Fujitsu Parex.

Japan, which has the second-largest online population with approximately 18
million users, has seen a 50 percent increase in traffic in the past year.

Mitsui, which has operated in Japan for more than 300 years, was one of the
original zaibatsu which is now known as a Sogo Shosha or global trading
company. The company’s other Internet endeavors include the development of
AOL Japan.

NTT Com operates in more than 200 countries, and is one of the major telecom
players in Asia, while Critical Path has expanded its email solutions market
to Germany, the UK, and Argentina.

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