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AOL, Netscape discuss closer ties

Navigator in AOL, equity stake, AOL/Netcenter co-marketing agreement all in the offing, claims WSJ

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Netscape and AOL are in talks to embed Navigator into AOL's online access software, the Wall Street Journal has reported. The companies are also discussing co-marketing agreements that include building tighter links between AOL's online service and Netscape's Netcenter portal. That's hardly likely to win over some of the Net's more anti-corporate users, whose support Netscape is hoping to gain through its purchase of the NewHoo 'alternative' search engine and Web directory (see Netscape to buy user-maintained Web directory). The WSJ also reported that the two-month-old talks, if successful, could see AOL taking a stake in Netscape and winning a seat on its board. The duration of the discussions suggests the negotiators are waiting on the outcome of the Department of Justice case against Microsoft as an agreement between the two companies. Both AOL and Netscape will be keen to forge links now that details of the former's agreement with Microsoft effectively to support Internet Explorer exclusively in return for Microsoft's agreement to include an AOL installer in Windows 95. ®

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