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February 9, 1999


By CBR Staff Writer

America Online Inc said Tuesday that it has struck an agreement with internet media concern CNet Inc, which will see the San Francisco-based company become the exclusive provider of hardware and software buying guides across the AOL service,, CompuServe and Digital City. In addition, CNet will become the exclusive provider free downloadable software on the site. Terms of the two-and-half-year deal guarantee payments of $14.5m to AOL, with incremental revenues based on performance goals. As part of the deal, CNet will create co-branded versions of its hardware and software buying guides as well as co-branded computing-oriented content areas on various AOL properties. News of the CNet deal came on the same day that AOL announced that its worldwide membership rolls have now surpassed 16 million worldwide. The online giant said that over a million users have been lured to the service since December 30, representing the fastest million in the company’s history.

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