Americal Online (AOL) sees New Zealand as “an attractive market” but first it will concentrate on getting started in Australia.
AOL and German media company Bertlesmann are founding a joint venture to offer AOL to Internet users in Australia.
AOL spokesman Rich D’Amato says he expects the online service and content provider to set up in Australia some time within the next 12 months.
“However, we are always looking at expansion possibilities and I think New Zealand would have many of the market characteristics that we are looking for.”
Bertlesmann, which already has an Australasian presence as owner of Doubleday book club and BMG Music, will make an initial investment of between $US19 million and $US29 million to fund the launch of AOL in Australia. Virginia-based AOL, which recently acquired Compuserve’s online service for $US175 million from H&R Block, has 9 million subscribers worldwide.