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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- AOL Time Warner and Royal Philips Electronics today announced a three-year $100 million global alliance to develop interactive shopping destinations for Philips' consumer electronics and personal care products.
A deal in the works since last fall.

The cross-platform media pact is one of several high-profile media arrangements that AOL Time Warner has pulled off in recent weeks as it moves to lock in lucrative assets. The Philips deal has been in the works since late last fall.

In the works
"This is not something out of the blue," said Jan Oosterveld, senior vice president of Royal Philips Electronics corporate strategy. "We worked together even before the merger [of AOL and Time Warner] on DVD players with Warner Home Video in Europe since 1999, on copyright protection issues. ... The Philips Experience [at Atlanta's Turner Field] is supported by Warner content and on AOL-TV."

The deal is not considered part of Philips' recent $600 million global media consolidation under Aegis Group's Carat, though executives indicated that as it evolves, the media agency will oversee planning functions related to it.

The formal affiliation with AOL Time Warner will enable Philips to promote its products and services within a rich-media environment, something consumer electronics marketers have been struggling to do on their own and with partners for some time.

From CNN to Time
Philips' products will be showcased online and linked to editorial content from AOL Time Warner media properties, to be determined by an editorial board made up of members from the two companies. Philips products will promoted across the breadth of AOL Time Warner online media and also its print and broadcast properties including Turner Broadcast networks such as CNN and Time Inc. magazines Time and Fortune. The two companies also will develop search engines, comparison shopping features, buying guides and retailer links.

"What we're building together with AOL is really about content, functionality and links to our retailers," said Ueli Morant, senior vice president of e-business and relationship marketing for Philips Consumer Electronics Co.

The technology platform will be built over the next three months. Philips expects to have an initial version ready in October and to be online with a "walled garden," or dedicated section, on America Online in time for the fourth quarter. An interactive shopping destination will debut in Europe in the first quarter of 2002 and worldwide six months later.

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