Starmedia, Hewlett-Packard to help Latin American merchants open stores in cyberspace

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RIO DE JANEIRO--Starmedia Network, a leading Spanish-and-Portuguese-language Internet access provider and Web portal company, has linkedwith Hewlett-Packard Co. to offer mid-sized merchants in Latin America aturnkey service to open retail Web sites.

The agreement will allow merchants to create stores on the Web in less than 24 hours. The service will be launched in Brazil next month and will roll out to the rest of Latin America next year.

"This powerful turnkey service will extend all necessities regarding electronic commerce to a growing community of retailers in the intermediate market of Latin America," says Fernando Espuelas, president and exec-utive director at Starmedia Network.

E-commerce revenue in Latin America could rise from $300 million in 1998 to $8 billion in the next four years. According to a study by Laredo Group, 29% of Starmedia users shop online and 59% are willing to so in the nearfuture.

Copyright September 1999, Crain Communications Inc.

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