America Online and Stamps.com announced a broad distribution and marketing alliance that will make Stamps.com the exclusive provider of Internet postage on AOL, Netscape and CompuServe branded CD-ROMs, giving millions of small business customers access to Stamps.com software. AOL will also make a multimillion dollar investment in Stamps.com. The alliance establishes Stamps.com as the premier online provider of postage software available within key areas across several AOL brands. The three-year, $56 million agreement expands an existing alliance between the two companies that has helped drive the number of pre-registrants for the Stamps.com service to over 100,000 consumers and businesses. Already approved by the U.S. Postal Service, Stamps.com enables consumers to print postage at any time. Stamps.com will develop co-branded versions of the Stamps.com Web site for each of the above-named AOL properties, two of which are among the top five most widely visited sites on the Internet. AOL's properties are heavily trafficked by Stamps.com's primary target segment, the Small Office/Home Office user. Stamps.com's major competitor, E-Stamps.com, is preparing a major fourth-quarter campaign for its online postage site as well.
Copyright October 1999, Crain Communications Inc.