Excite Expands Down Under

Excite, Inc. said today it teamed up with Australian publisher LibertyOne to form an Asia-Pacific version of its popular portal service.

Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

Under the joint venture between Excite and J.B. Fairfax Company-owned LibertyOne, the new portal will feature advertising and commerce initiatives supported by Excite in English. Initially the service will launch in Australia during the fourth quarter.

Localized portals are also planned for New Zealand, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Singapore, according to Excite. The company said each local service will carry its portal offerings including search, personalization, channels, chat, e-mail, Excite Communities and commerce.

Ownership of the Australia-Asian co-venture will be divided equally between
Excite, Inc. and LibertyOne, the companies said. LibertyOne is the
interactive media operation of the J.B. Fairfax Group and owns the digital rights to personalities such as golfer Greg Norman.

Excite operates several other international portals with various partners in what’s becoming an increasingly competitive global market. Major alliances also exist between local content providers and big-name players such as Lycos and Yahoo! which also boast sites throughout Europe and Asia.

“Following on our Japanese joint-venture announced last
year, this deal expands our presence and ability to move
aggressively in one of the largest online growth areas in the world
the Asia-Pacific region,” said George Bell, CEO, Excite, Inc.

“On a global basis, the Internet is one of the most
dynamic growth industries, particularly within the Asian Pacific
region,” said Graham Bristow, Managing Director, LibertyOne.
“We are ideally located in Australia to be at the forefront of
this boom.”

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