America Online Inc has launched its subscriber service in Sydney, Australia, according to Australian news sources. The joint venture between AOL and German publishing group, Bertelsmann AG began beta testing in April, but subscription services were not previously expected to be available until December. The partnership combines AOL’s nine million world-wide customer base and Bertelsmann’s existing presence in the Australian market with music and book club businesses. In addition, the German company will invest at least $15.9m in the launch. The two have previously collaborated on a similar joint venture in Europe, which has 700,000 subscribers.