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AOL UK inks major distribution deal with Kingfisher

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AOL UK has signed a major distribution deal with Kingfisher that will see the ISP's 24/7 unmetered software CDs available in 2061 stores throughout the country.

The deal is part of a co-branding exercise and closer ecommerce ties between the two companies.

Under the agreement, specially co-branded CDs for AOL Flat Rate will be available in Comet, Woolworths and Superdrug stores from late December, and B&Q stores from February 2001.

In return, AOL UK will promote B&Q's range of home and garden products across its ecommerce channels.

The agreement is part of AOL UK's strategy to increase its exposure to potential consumers. And this deal certainly sets it up nicely against Le Freeswerve, which can attribute much of its success to having its software CDs available in hundreds of Dixons Group shops such as Dixons and PC World.

Interestingly, Kingfisher is also a strategic investor in ISP Libertysurf, which recently relaunched itself in the UK with a new limited unmetered product backed by a major TV advertising campaign.

Libertysurf CDs are available in Comet stores.

A spokesman for Libertysurf said he was "fairly relaxed" about the arrangement adding that this move was about "consumer choice".

He added that it wasn't a problem since AOL Flat Rate is "addressing a different market segment". ®

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