ots Ad hoc-Service: WEB.DE AG WEB.DE invests in leading American Internet Telephony Developer

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    Karlsruhe (ots Ad hoc-Service) -    

    WEB.DE AG operator of the Internet portal WEB.DE and provider of e-mail and communication services, acquires 12% of VoIP Group, Inc., Miami, USA, as part of its international strategy.

    VoIP Group, a provider of web-based telecommunication, has developed all necessary software for routing, transmission transmitting and billing of high quality phone-to phone, pc-to-phone and phone-to-pc Internet telephony, with full control of speech and transmission quality. According to VoIP Group, none of its publicly traded competitors owns such a complete product offering.

    The VoIP Group technology enables world-wide faxing and telephony at the cost of local calls as well as real-time web-based telecommunication services in the near future. Such B2B real-time services will be announced soon.

    According to Frost&Sullivan's latest research on Internet telephony, the world market is growing from $0.9 bn in 2000 and $5.8 bn in 2002 to $91 bn in 2006. With the new flat rates for Internet, this growth could even accelerate.

    In a separate agreement, announced last week, WEB.DE AG licensed its security and encryption technology to VoIP Group, Inc.: WEB.DE AG and VoIP Group believe that the combination of security, encryption and Internet telephony potentially represents a world-wide unique product offering with strong competitive advantages.

    This $3.5 ml cash investment is part of the strategy that WEB.DE AG did not disclose at the IPO for competitive reasons. With this first investment in the USA, WEB.DE AG is now initiating its international investment strategy: some of the IPO proceeds will be used to reinforce the international presence of WEB.DE AG as well as its know-how for Internet and telecommunication.

    The investment in VoIP in combination with it's award-winning e-mail and Unified Messaging Services (UMS), is viewed by WEB.DE AG as an important step towards becoming a leading communication portal. With the explosive UMS market (Frost&Sullivan: $10.8 bn by the year 2002) and the new web-based telecommunication market, WEB.DE AG, in addition to its strong position as German portal and B2B products of WEB.DE pro, is now entering two of the fastest growing markets world-wide.


    WEB.DE AG, Richard Berg, Investor Relations, tel. +49 (0) 721 94329 260, fax. +49 (0) 721 94329 22, e-mail investor.relations@webde-ag.de, http://webde-ag.de

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