Bertelsmann SE & Co. KGaA

BERTELSMANN and ISYNDICATE agree european Joint Venture
Joint Venture - To be known as Isyndicate Europe - Poised to grow the European WEB Content Syndication Market

    Hamburg, San Francisco (ots) - Bertelsmann, the most international media company, and iSyndicate today announced the agreement of the European joint venture "iSyndicate Europe". The joint venture will provide content syndication services and technology to media properties throughout Europe. It will combine Bertelsmann's global media network with iSyndicate's syndication expertise and relationships with more than 1100 independent content providers to deliver syndicated media to Web sites of all sizes and wireless devices.

    Each partner will hold a 50 percent stake in the enterprise. The company's headquarters will be located in Hamburg, Germany with iSyndicate's existing London office serving as the first affiliate office. Bertelsmann has the right to appoint the CEO of iSyndicate Europe.

    Under the terms of the agreement, Bertelsmann will acquire a four percent stake in US-based parent company iSyndicate Inc.. Bertelsmann's Chief Creative Officer Rolf Schmidt-Holtz will also join iSyndicate's board. iSyndicate's other strategic partnerships include NBC, Microsoft, NewsCorp, InfoSpace and Vignette.

    iSyndicate Europe will enable web sites of all sizes, corporate intranets and digital devices to enrich their content offerings with services and media from the widely recognizable publishing brands. iSyndicate Europe will syndicate a wide range of independent content providers in addition to Bertelsmann media properties, enabling content providers to generate increased revenue and brand awareness.

    Bertelsmann's entry into the syndication business will be assumed by the new Bertelsmann Content Network Division under the direction of Rolf Schmidt-Holtz. Schmidt-Holtz stated: "Bertelsmann is a content-powerhouse. The joint venture is an important step toward strengthening our position in the content sector. We want to ensure that Bertelsmann's diverse content is available wherever the customer wishes and expects to find it. Syndication represents a huge opportunity, because the market is growing extremely fast. In iSyndicate, we have found the ideal partner to establish the syndication business throughout the whole of Europe. It will be a system open to all content providers who have been invited to put their content to work through this platform."

    Joel Maske, co-founder, President and CEO of iSyndicate and Chairman of the newly created iSyndicate Europe, commented: "Now that the European market for content syndication is poised for growth, iSyndicate wanted a strategic partnership with a significant media player. Bertelsmann is an ideal partner for us to go into Europe with, as the company is synonymous with media content and together we will deliver solutions to build the syndication market."

    The joint venture, between iSyndicate and Bertelsmann as one of the world's largest media enterprises, is creating a platform that will enable Bertelsmann companies to make optimal commercial use of their content, thereby generating further income streams.

    The content available through iSyndicate covers virtually every category, topic, and type found on the Web today, such as, breaking news, feature articles, commentary, sports scores, stock quotes, comics, puzzles, games, weather, photos, and rich media including full-motion video, and music.

    About Bertelsmann     As the world's most international media enterprise, Bertelsmann commands leading positions in the global media and entertainment industries. The Bertelsmann Group consists of publishing and music companies, book and music clubs, magazines and newspapers, television and radio stations, print and media service providers, multimedia and professional information companies represented by such brands as Random House, BMG, Gruner + Jahr and RTL. Bertelsmann is the world's largest general-interest publisher and the biggest English-language publishing house worldwide. Bertelsmann book and music clubs are number one worldwide. Through RTL Group and Gruner + Jahr, the company ranks first in the European broadcasting and magazine sectors, respectively. Bertelsmann is the worldwide leading media company in the internet, and top ranking in its peer market in e-commerce with BOL in Europe and in the US. The organization currently employs 76,000 people in 54 countries and posted 32,4 billion DM in total revenues in the 1999/00 financial year ended June 30, 2000.

    Rolf Schmidt-Holtz (52) is CLT-UFA's former Chairman. He joined the Executive Board of Bertelsmann AG as of July 1, 2000 as its eighth member. This appointment points the way to the future for Bertelsmann. Management intends to intensify cooperation across company and divisional boundaries, step up content digitization and networking, and resolutely zero in on communities of interests. Bertelsmann's new Executive Board content network mandate has been assigned the task of building cross-media content brands, optimizing the commercial usage cycle of its content through syndication, and acquiring stakes in outside companies with a view to entering into new fields of business.

    About iSyndicate

    iSyndicate is a leading provider of content syndication services and technologies on the Internet. Today, the company aggregates, packages, integrates and delivers a breadth of content including audio, video, animations, interactive games, comics and weather from more than 1100 trusted sources, including The Associated Press, CBS SportsLine, CNBC, CNET, Reuters, and, all in real-time. In the UK, content providers include: The Register, The Guardian Online, Haymarket Business Publications, and, among others. This content is made available by iSyndicate to over 270,000 customers, including Citibank, Intel, OmniSky, Nortel Networks, Nintendo, Wells Fargo, and iSyndicate supports the ICE (Information & Content Exchange) standard based on XML among a variety of others for all of its content.

    iSyndicate is based in San Francisco with offices in New York and London, and is backed by venture capital firms Scripps Ventures and Labrador Ventures; investment bank Chase Hambrecht & Quist; and Vignette Corporation; NBC (GE), Microsoft and News Corporation; and individual investors

ots Originaltext: Bertelsmann AG

For further information please contact:

Oliver Herrgesell
Bertelsmann AG - Media and Financial Relations
Phone: +49 (0) 5241 80 2466

Kelly Scutt / Nick Morris
Bite Communications
Phone: +44 (0)20 8741 1123

Original-Content von: Bertelsmann SE & Co. KGaA, übermittelt durch news aktuell

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