Compaq goes local with Zip2 p.12

By: Carl Sullivan Compaq Computer Corp. of Houston announced Feb. 16 that it will purchase Zip2 Corp. for an undisclosed amount of cash. The Mountain View, Calif.-based Zip2 is well known in the newspaper industry as a provider of Web hosting services. Zip2 also announced a new local portal platform on Feb. 17 at the Editor & Publisher Interactive Newspapers Conference in Atlanta.
With the acquisition, Compaq hopes to position its AltaVista Co. division as both a strong national and local portal on the Internet.
"[Compaq's] goal is to become a significant player on a national basis with the AltaVista portal site and to work with local players too," says Bruce Murray, vice president for marketing at Zip2.
"Compaq sees the content and resources of local newspapers as being an incredibly strong set of assets."
Zip2 has agreements with local media companies in over 165 markets, and 130 of those markets have already launched Zip2-powered Web sites. Murray says Compaq is anxious to reach local consumers.
Many Compaq computers already have a built-in key on the keyboard which takes users directly to the Internet. According to Compaq, that "Instant Internet" key drives more than 20 million user visits to the AltaVista Web site each month. Murray says future models with also feature a "local Internet" key that will take users to local Zip2-powered portals.
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