Mexico's to acquire ISP Geoline

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MEXICO CITY--Portal operator has signed a letter of intent to buy ISP Geoline Communications in a move to consolidate its position within NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement) and further its electronic commerce offerings.

Geoline, which provides e-mail services, Web page design and consulting for e-commerce clients, will focus on negotiating contracts with businesses of all sizes interested in selling their goods and services in Todito's virtual store channel.

According to the contract, all Geoline clients will move to as well as personnel and Internet corporate clients.

Todito currently has 16 stores in its site and on average registers 15 purchases daily.

In order to boost e-commerce transactions, beginning Nov. 27 the com-pany will offer users the option of making payments via bank deposits rather than using their credit cards.

"People are afraid of making purchases over the net," says Adrian Gonzalez, Todito VP-content, adding that many believe their credit cardnumbers will be accessed for fraudulent use.

The company also expects e-commerce transactions to increase as the Christmas season approaches.

Mr. Gonzalez says Todito plans to add an action channel to its site in the first quarter of next year and business-to-business services by the second quarter.

On the advertising side, the portal only counts 6 advertisers but Mr. Gonzalez says the number would more than double by yearend.

In comparison, competitors such as StarMedia count 160 advertisers region-wide, up from the 16 reported in 1998. is based in Monterrey, Mexico, and gears its content towardSpanish-speaking users in the U.S. and Mexico.

Copyright November 1999, Crain Communications Inc.

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