AltaVista Launches Swedish Site

Poised for a major re-launch later this month by new parent company CMGI (Nasdaq: CMGI), global Web directory AltaVista announced today that it has launched a Swedish site.

The Palo Alto, California-based company said that the Swedish language AltaVista Sverige will provide search capabilities and access to the most current index of Swedish Web sites, as well as access to AltaVista’s Web index.

The site will also contain local content, news, weather reports, road maps and other features in coming months, the company said. The Swedish site is the 20th international site for AltaVista, joining branded sites in the U.S., Canada and Germany and partner sites across Europe, Asia, Latin America, Africa and Australia.

“AltaVista continues its dominance in Internet searching technology, providing relevant information to users around the world,” said company vice-president Greg Memo. “AltaVista has always been the search engine of choice for Swedish users through AltaVista.com and our partners. We are now taking a giant leap forward to provide a dedicated Swedish site.”

According to AltaVista, Sweden has approximately 3.5 million Internet users each month — representing almost half of the country’s population. Scandinavia has long been a pioneering Internet region, with Norwegian, Finnish, Danish and Swedish programmers and users out in front of many online developments.

Working With Japanese E-Commerce Leader

AltaVista also announced today that it has been selected by leading Japanese e-commerce site e-sekai.com to provide search technology for the company’s Web site.

E-sekai is one of Japan’s largest e-commerce sites, selling over 1.5 million consumer electronic devices, software, books and other products. In addition to having the use of AltaVista as a search engine for its site, e-sekai will join the company’s Value Added Link program, allowing its users to have access to AltaVista’s World Wide Web index.

AltaVista makes these moves as its parent company sets to re-launch the site later this month. CMGI is reportedly unveiling a $100 million advertising campaign to promote AltaVista, although the company has shrugged off the reported price tag as exorbitant.

Having spent $2.3 billion to take an 81.9 percent stake in AltaVista this past summer, CMGI is intent upon making it a hub for its diverse Internet holdings, which include stakes in Lycos and GeoCities, and a number of startups through its @ventures subsidiary.

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