AOL, Sign $21M Pact

America Online entered into a three-year, $21 million software marketing deal with today, and said it will make a minority investment in the online software store.

Under the agreement, will become an exclusive reseller of downloadable software on the AOL service and on AOL.COM. AOL will reportedly receive $21 million in guaranteed payments over three years, in addition to a share of advertising revenues. said it will receive exclusive and semi-exclusive positions on various computing and commerce areas within AOL, and will feature in tax preparation, software download, computing, personal finance, games, and file search areas on AOL.COM.

America Online’s new AOL Investments unit will also make a minority investment of up to $2 million in, the company said.

“The software industry pioneered electronic commerce and remains a leading category, with sales in the segment projected to reach nearly $2.3 billion by the year 2002, according to Jupiter Communications,” said Barry Schuler, president of AOL Interactive Services. “With this agreement . . . we can provide our members with instant access to the most up-to-date software.”

In addition to the download option, said it also offers next-day delivery of a range of “boxed” software for users who prefer to install from a disk.

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