America Online Inc and its European partner, the German media giant Bertelsmann AG, have set up shop in Australia in the form of a new joint venture company. The venture is being bankrolled by Bertelsmann to the tune of an initial investment of between $19.6m and $29.7m. All AOL has to d o is provide the technology. AOL will be competing with local players such as OzEmail Ltd but also with its main rival Microsoft Network. AOL believes that computer usage in Australia is roughly the same as in the US pro rata, but online usage is about half that of the US, taking into account the vast difference in population.
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