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Rod Schrock
"We will move very aggressively into the UK market"
 real 28k

Tuesday, 7 December, 1999, 12:27 GMT
AltaVista takes a UK view



AltaVista, one of the first search engines on the web, has launched an internet portal dedicated to the UK, following the example set by Yahoo, Lycos, Infoseek and others.

But Rod Schrock, AltaVista's chief executive, denied that his company was entering the UK market too late.


For an internet company with 45 million users it probably makes sense to float on the stock market
Rod Schrock
In an interview with the BBC, he said that his website had managed to hold on to its user base despite fierce competition - and added five million during the past two months.

AltaVista, now counting 45 million unique users worldwide, would move "very aggressively" into the UK market, he said, and beat its competitors through quality of service.

Mr Schrock believes that most of his competitors - including Yahoo! - list only a small amount of web pages originating in the UK.

He promised that AltaVista's search technology would enable it to list the whole UK content of the web. The new AltaVista portal will list 17 million UK web pages at launch, and plans to expand this to 40 million pages by the end of the year.

He said that this would cover about 95% of web content produced in the UK.

Flotation likely

Mr Schrock refused to comment on speculation in the media that AltaVista planned a flotation next year, but said for an internet company with 45 million users it would make probably make sense to float its shares on the stock market.

But first, AltaVista wants to build its brand, spending $120m on advertising in conventional media such as newspapers and television.

Twenty million dollars of that money will be spent in Europe, and Mr Schrock hopes that he will be able to turn AltaVista into one of the top brands on the internet, competing with the likes of Yahoo! and Netscape.

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See also:
01 Dec 99 |  Business
AltaVista 'to float'
06 Dec 99 |  Business
Britain Asks for Jeeves
03 Aug 99 |  Sci/Tech
Search engine seeks billion URLs
07 Jul 99 |  Sci/Tech
Web engines could do better

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