SAN FRANCISCO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--March 6, 2000--LookSmart (Nasdaq:LOOK), a leader in Internet search infrastructure, today announced that it has added the United Kingdom to its joint venture with British Telecommunications (NYSE:BTY).
The UK represents BT's home market and leading territory with 28 million Internet, wireless and telephone customers. The addition of the UK enhances the joint venture that was originally announced last November. The new company, which will be named BTLookSmart, aims to leverage LookSmart's strength in search infrastructure to build country-specific search solutions throughout Europe and Asia.
The joint venture draws on the core assets and established expertise of both LookSmart and BT. It leverages BT's customer base in Europe and Asia through its global partners, which includes approximately 20 million Internet/telephone customers in the UK. The joint venture also has preferential access to BT's 34.9 million wireless accounts in Europe and Asia as they become Internet enabled. LookSmart provides world class search solutions to the joint venture including locally relevant and culturally sensitive Web directories for 25 countries. In the United States, LookSmart's search network reaches over 45 million users. Together with the joint venture, LookSmart will have access to more than 100 million potential users worldwide.
"The BTLookSmart joint venture could not be more on target strategically for LookSmart," said Evan Thornley, CEO of LookSmart. "This initiative is a key part of our strategy to aggressively leverage and expand our successful U.S. search infrastructure business model into international markets. We are delighted that the joint venture will now provide coverage of the UK, BT's home market. With BT's access into the vast majority of homes in the UK, this arrangement adds significant reach to our rapidly growing distribution network. The addition of the UK further endorses and enhances the power of our model."
Since the joint venture was first announced last fall, BT and LookSmart have signed a number of deals to distribute the LookSmart directory in Europe and Asia. In the UK alone, BTLookSmart has signed syndication deals with Tesco Net, a free ISP from the UK's leading grocery retailer; Channel 4 Television, to develop a vertical lifestyle portal; BEME, a new women's site; and Zoom, a popular ISP and shopping portal.
"It is very exciting to be able to hit the ground running so quickly on a deal of this magnitude," said Vernon Irvin, senior vice president of BT Worldwide. "The beauty of the BTLookSmart arrangement is that our strengths are so complementary. By combining BT's global strength in the access business with our leadership in search and navigation solutions, we have established a very powerful partnership."
LookSmart (Nasdaq:LOOK) is a global leader of Internet search infrastructure, dedicated to helping the world find useful stuff quickly. LookSmart's search and navigation service reaches over 45 million people a month -- nearly 70 percent of all Internet users in the U.S. -- through LookSmart's partner sites. LookSmart has launched Web sites for the U.S., UK, Canada, Australia, the Netherlands, Singapore, Malaysia, and New Zealand, and has built directories for 17 countries, including Japan, Korea, Mexico and Brazil. LookSmart's search solutions include a collection of over 1.5 million high quality URLs organized into more than 100,000 categories. LookSmart provides its search solutions to leading Internet portals, ISPs and Web sites including The Microsoft Network, Netscape Netcenter, Time Warner Inc., Excite@Home, Sony, BT, US West, AltaVista, NetZero, over 370 Internet Service Providers and 600,000 web sites. Through its partnership with Cox Interactive Media, LookSmart also offers one of the largest collection of quality local Web content in more than 70 U.S. markets. The company is headquartered in San Francisco and can be contacted at 415/348-7000 or visited at www.looksmart.com.
British Telecommunications plc is one of the world's leading providers of telecommunications services. Its principal activities include local, long distance and international telecommunications services, mobile communications, Internet services and IT solutions. BT is expanding its presence overseas rapidly and has operations in more than 30 countries worldwide, with ventures in the Republic of Ireland, France, Switzerland, Spain, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Sweden, New Zealand, Japan, Singapore, Malaysia, Korea, Latin America and India. BT and AT&T have also created Concert, the leading global telecommunications company serving multi-national business customers, international carriers and Internet service providers worldwide.
This press release contains forward-looking statements based on our current expectations and projections about the Internet and wireless industries and our management's beliefs and assumptions. Words such as "aims," "anticipates," "expects," "intends," "plans," "believes," "seeks," "estimates," "may," "will" and variations of these words or similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements. Also, any statements that refer to expectations, projections or other characterizations of future events or circumstances, including any underlying assumptions, are forward-looking statements. These statements are not guarantees of future performance and are subject to risks and uncertainties. Our actual results could differ from those expressed in these forward-looking statements.
Factors that may cause our actual results to differ in connection with the BTLookSmart joint venture include, but are not limited to, (a) the risk that BT or BTLookSmart may not develop and deploy wireless Internet services worldwide to its customers, for technical or other reasons, (b) the risk that some or all of BT's wireless or telephone customers worldwide will not choose to use BT's Internet service or BTLookSmart's search and navigation services, © the lack of a prior working relationship with BT and potential differences in business goals, management styles or appetite for risk, (d) BTLookSmart's potential inability to aggregate a large amount of Internet traffic and monetize that traffic through advertising and other revenue streams; (e) BTLookSmart's failure to offer locally-relevant products and services, and (f) other risks outlined in our Annual Report on Form 10-K, Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q and other SEC filings. Please note that we undertake no obligation to revise or update publicly any forward-looking statements for any reason.
Note to Editors: "LookSmart" is a trademark of LookSmart, Ltd., and/or its subsidiaries in the U.S. and some other countries. All other trademarks mentioned are the property of their respective owners.
CONTACT: LookSmart, San Francisco
Liz Connaghan, 415/348-7185 (Media)
Berkeley Belknap, 415/348-7507 (Investors)