BT has acquired 50 per cent of the US internet search engine and
web portal company, Excite, for dollars 10 million.
The purchase extends BT’s reach into the online consumer market,
strengthening its presence in online advertising and e-commerce. It also
marks the first time a UK company and a US internet portal have struck
such a deal.
The two will jointly market the Excite portal, which offers UK consumers
a personalised web service, free e-mail and content areas including
news, music and sport. They will also develop the site with more
localised UK content.
In addition, Excite will market BT’s new combined ’pay as you go’ web
service and guide, BTClick, as Excite Click.
David Pincott, the PR manager for BT internet and multimedia, said:
’Revenue will increasingly come from transactions and advertising, not
access and subscriptions, and this is our way of getting into that
market more with Excite, which has a massive expertise in that
BT’s cash injection will put Excite in a stronger position in the
burgeoning net portal market, providing greater resources to challenge
the market leader, Yahoo!
George Bell, the chief executive of Excite, commented: ’Our expertise in
providing compelling, personalised content, married with BT’s
established reputation with UK consumers, enables us to create a joint
venture with Excite UK that has the potential to take a leading position
in the UK internet market.’