Autoweb.com, Inc. (Nasdaq : AWEB), the leading consumer automotive Internet service, and America Online, Inc. (NYSE: AOL ), the world’s leading interactive services company, today announced a four-year infrastructure, technology and marketing alliance under which Autoweb will license its automotive content, data and technology to America Online, enhancing the ability of users to research and buy cars through several AOL brands.
Under the agreement, Autoweb’s content and new configuration and comparison services, from its AIC division, will be integrated into automotive areas across AOL, AOL.com, CompuServe, Netscape Netcenter and AOL Digital City under “Powered by Autoweb” branding. Visitors to these AOL brands will be able to configure a car by manufacturer, make, model, trim specifications and other option packages, and perform simple or comprehensive side-by-side comparisons of competitive vehicles.
As part of this premier relationship, Autoweb will also have a constant presence on the AOL brands. This will enable the more than 24 million AOL and CompuServe members and the tens of millions of additional visitors to AOL’s Web-based brands to access a new co-branded site allowing AOL members to seamlessly access Autoweb’s popular buying services.
The agreement is a key step in the development of the new AOL Auto Channel, announced previously by America Online, which will offer members a wealth of reliable, accurate information, services, and tools for car shopping, buying and maintenance throughout the ownership cycle. As part of the Auto Channel experience, AOL members will be able to instantly access the co-branded Autoweb site.
By enriching America Online’s automotive content with valuable Autoweb information and functionality, the agreement furthers AOL’s ability to provide a platform for all auto manufacturers and their dealers to efficiently guide informed car buyers through their sales channels; strengthen ongoing communications with current owners; and deliver targeted, brand-specific messaging to the users of all AOL’s interactive properties.
“This alliance with America Online demonstrates that Autoweb is not only a leading consumer brand offering the most popular online car-buying choices, but also the owner of core assets that are making Autoweb the industry standard in automotive data, content and technology,” said Dean DeBiase, chairman and CEO of Autoweb. “By leveraging the value of our premier automotive content and tools we can seamlessly offer millions of America Online users the best methods to research and compare cars online, combined with our most popular car buying services.”
“Purchasing a car involves a great deal of research, and can be confusing and time-intensive,” said Bob Pittman, President and Chief Operating Officer of America Online Inc. “By deploying Autoweb’s content and technology, we will be able to simplify the process, offering the online consumers a consistent, seamlessly integrated and personalized car buying experience.”
About America Online, Inc.
Founded in 1985, America Online, Inc., based in Dulles, Virginia, is the world’s leader in interactive services, Web brands, Internet technologies, and e-commerce services. America Online, Inc. operates: America Online, with more than 22 million members, and CompuServe, with more than 2.7 million members, the company’s two worldwide Internet services; several leading Internet brands including ICQ, AOL Instant Messenger and Digital City, Inc.; the Netscape Netcenter and AOL.COM portals; the Netscape Navigator and Communicator browsers; AOL MovieFone , the nation’s #1 movie listing guide and ticketing service; and Spinner.com and Nullsoft ‘s Winamp , leaders in Internet music. Through its strategic alliance with Sun Microsystems, the company develops and offers easy-to-deploy, end-to-end e-commerce and enterprise solutions for companies operating in the Net Economy.
About Autoweb.com, Inc.
Autoweb.com is the leading consumer automotive Internet service, guiding users through every stage of vehicle ownership. Through its auction, direct and referral commerce channels, Autoweb.com offers consumers a variety of ways to purchase new and used vehicles in conjunction with vehicle manufacturers, local Member Dealers and other commerce partners. The company’s Web site also provides consumers with a wide range of automotive-related products to support the complete lifecycle of the vehicle, including finance, insurance and maintenance. Autoweb.com features comprehensive, unbiased research from its Automotive Information Center (AIC) division, the leading provider of automotive content, data and tools used to power Internet services, portals and manufacturer Web sites. The company’s content and buying models are available on three out of the top four portals through its infrastructure partner program. For more information, please visit www.autoweb.com.
Statements in this news release, including statements that include words such as “expects,” “believes” or other future-oriented statements, contain forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ from anticipated results. These risks and uncertainties include changes in competitive behavior or market forces, uncertainties regarding response from the vehicle manufacturers, changes in the legal or regulatory environment, changes or lack of changes in consumer preferences over time, technological challenges and an inability to forecast future traffic and transactions. Further information on risk factors that could affect results is detailed in Autoweb’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including its Registration Statement on Form S-1 (No. 333-71177) and its Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 1999.