[email protected] Buys Into Tickets.com

As part of a plan to reap the e-commerce rewards of online ticket sales, [email protected] Tuesday announced a strategic partnership with Tickets.com.

[email protected] will invest $85 million in Tickets.com and will construct a one-stop resource for sports and entertainment ticket sales on the Web.

Along with cable access provider Cox Communications Inc., [email protected] also signed-up to establish a long-term content relationship with Tickets.com.

George Bell, [email protected] president, said the company intends to integrate online ticket sales into both their Excite! and @Home broadband portals.

“This relationship underscores two of our core strategies, investing financially in our partners and expanding our e-commerce opportunities with local content,” Bell said. “We will provide our customers with detailed, easily searched information for thousands of events and venues and the ability to buy tickets without leaving the Excite service.”

Bell added online ticketing is projected to be one of the top five online commerce categories and that Tickets.com would emerge as a leader in the online ticket-buying category.

W. Thomas Gimple, Tickets.com president and chief executive officer, said the relationship with [email protected] confirms the company’s leadership role in online ticketing sales and services.

“We are happy to receive this significant investment validating Tickets.com’s business model, and delighted to be working with partners that share our online ticketing vision,” Gimple said.

Tickets.com serves more than 3,800 worldwide clients permitting them to sell slates for events at leading performing arts centers, professional sports organizations and various stadiums in the U.S., Europe, Australia and Latin America.

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