Dixon Group?s pioneering free Internet service provider Freeserve has signed a multi million pound deal with media giant Bertelsmann to sell books online.
Freeserve declined to go into the financial specifics of the deal, but confirmed that it is for three years. Bertelsmann Online (BOL) which was expected to launch in the UK before Christmas is now slated to go live next month.
?Delivering the best local content and a good service took longer to put in place than expected,? said a spokesperson for BOL. ?BOL also took a 50 per cent stake in Barnes & Noble last year which changed the strategy,? continued the spokesperson.
BOL already has country specific services in Germany and France. Sites are scheduled for Holland and Spain later this year.
BOL?s agreement with Freeserve is non exclusive. It has already signed pan European deals with AOL and Lycos and is currently in talks with other partners, confirmed the company?s spokesperson.
?Books are among the most popular purchases on the Internet, so we felt it was very important to offer an innovative, dedicated book channel,? said Mark Danby, Freeserve?s general manager.
Danby said that its online book channel will be more than just a virtual store. It will also include book related content, such as reviews and bestseller lists.
Freeserve has just signed up other content providers for its service, including Domain Names for searching and registering URLs and Aloud.com for purchasing event tickets.
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