Netscape Australia, NZ to survive AOL deal

Netscape's Australian operation, which also services New Zealand, has survived the company's acquisition by America Online. Netscape's Hong Kong office closed down overnight recently - before the AOL deal was announced - and there had been fears that the Australian business would follow in a global reshaping of Netscape's business. Netscape Australia's management has been unable to guarantee its future until now.

Netscape's Australian operation, which also services New Zealand, has survived the company's acquisition by America Online.

Netscape's Hong Kong office closed down overnight recently - before the AOL deal was announced - and there had been fears that the Australian business would follow in a global reshaping of Netscape's business. Netscape Australia's management has been unable to guarantee its future until now.

But Netscape announced late yesterday that its business will remain under the leadership of managing director Rob Stewart. Stewart has been at Netscape's Mountain View Headquarters this week. In a statement he said discussions on the future of the local operation had been "extremely positive".

"The Netscape operation in Australia and New Zealand has been highly successful. We have built a stable and fast growing business and an excellent team and this has been fully recognised by Netscape Communications Corporation."

Netscape will continue to operate from its Melbourne and Sydney offices with all 16 staff remaining with the organisation.

Stewart said the company would "continue to deliver on commitments to our customers and potential customers."

No hint was given of the likely relationship between Netscape and AOL Australia, which launched earlier this year, but Stewart described the opportunity to add value through its new owner AOL and partner Sun Microsystems as "very exciting".

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