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Monday, 12 March, 2001, 15:32 GMT
FT.com signs deal with Hoover's
FT.com
FT.com has about 39 million monthly page views
US business information service Hoover's has signed a content sharing deal with FT.com.

The move is intended to boost the Financial Times website's presence in the US market at a time when parent company Pearson is under pressure to justify its expenditure on internet ventures.

Hoover's, which is best known for its company profiles and which launched a European version of its site in October 2000, has called the deal the "breakthrough" it has been looking for in the European market.

It should significantly boost page views for both sites, which rely heavily on advertising - helping to fight the current slump in revenues which led to the fall last week of Yahoo's share price.

More US users

Under the deal, FT.com news stories will direct readers to Hoover's company information.

Hoover's factfile
1990 founder Gary Hoover publishes first book of company profiles
1992 begins to move content online with AOL
1995 Hoover's online launched, backers include AOL Time Warner and NBC
1999 listed on Nasdaq stock exchange
2000 Hoover's Online Europe launched
Visitors to Hoover's site will be directed to FT.com's headline stories and news archive.

FT.com is reported to have 39 million monthly page views and 1.7m users.

Stephen Hill, chief executive of the Financial Times group, said: "This agreement will drive more US users through to FT.com, adding significantly to our monthly page views."

Hefty investment

Pearson, which also owns Penguin books, poured 196m into its internet ventures last year, almost five times the level of the year before.

This hefty investment meant that the group's overall pre-tax profits fell by 17% in 2000 compared to the previous year.

Pearson claims its internet ventures are on track to break even by the end of 2002, two years ahead of original expectations.

It also argues that FT.com has helped push The Financial Times in the US market, where the newspaper's circulation is up 26% to 129,000.

But some analysts have cast doubt on FT.com's ability to move into profit.

Unlike the Wall Street Journal's subscription-based online operation, it is free to use and is funded almost solely by advertising.

Hoover's, which made a loss of $12m on its internet operations last year, also relies on advertising to fund its web activities, although it also has a subscriber base.

It has co-branding agreements with more than 30 other online services.

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See also:

08 Mar 01 | Business
Yahoo slide halts tech rally
05 Mar 01 | Business
Pearson upbeat despite web costs
18 Dec 00 | Business
Pearson steps up internet spend
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