Lycos Allies with Open Market to Attract Online Merchants

Internet software developer Open Market (Nasdaq: OMKT) and Lycos (Nasdaq: LCOS) announced an alliance today aimed at attracting businesses of all sizes to build their online stores on the Lycos hub. The move is a strategic step for Lycos in the uphill battle against Yahoo! Stores, which has been very successful in attracting online merchants.

Today’s two-part announcement indicates first that Lycos will use Open Market’s TransactTM software to run its electronic marketplace.

In addition, Lycos will distribute Open Market’s ShopSiteTM store-building software for merchants who want to create online stores, and link them through the Lycos network of sites.

More Features for Online Buyers & Sellers

Open Market’s Transact system will provide Lycos with a complete set of commerce services to offer their online merchants.

Capabilities include:

Online customer authentication and authorization Online order and payment processing Automated tax and shipping calculations Online order tracking and status Online customer service. Individual members of Lycos community sites, Tripod and Angelfire, will be able to commerce enable their individual pages and become online merchants, using Open Market’s ShopSite TX program.

“This agreement with Open Market establishes the integrated platform from which we will continue to propel our aggressive e-commerce strategy,” remarked Bob Davis, Lycos CEO.

Broader Reach for ShopSite Merchants

The alliance also includes plans to allow ISPs and hosting companies to connect into the Lycos Network. This will enable thousands of merchants who already use the ShopSite program to broaden their reach by linking their existing stores into the Lycos Network, which the company estimates has more than 20 million shoppers.

The full network includes, Tripod, WhoWhere, Angelfire, MailCity, HotBot, HotWired, Wired News, Webmonkey and The company reports that this collection of sites makes the Lycos Network the second most visited hub on the Internet, reaching 46.5% of Web users worldwide.

Gary Eichhorn, Open Market’s CEO, indicated that this initiative is the first step by Lycos and Open Market to jointly reshape Internet commerce, implying that the two companies plan to work closely together in the future.

Business Background

Founded in June 1995, Lycos was one of the earliest search and navigation sites on the World Wide Web. Lycos became a publicly traded company in April 1996, just 10 months after it was founded, making it the youngest company to go public in NASDAQ history. Headquarters are near Boston, in Waltham, Massachusetts.

Open Market, Inc. is one of the top providers of Internet commerce software for individual businesses, as well as Commerce Service Providers, such as AT&T and France Telecom. Customers include Time Warner, Ingram Micro, the top 10 commercial publishers, and 11 of 14 of the world’s top national telephone companies. The company was founded in 1994 and is also based in Massachusetts.

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