AT&T acquires Interchange Online Network from Ziff
BASKING RIDGE, N.J. -- DECEMBER 22, 1994 -- AT&T and Ziff Communications Company announced that AT&T has purchased the Interchange™ Network Company, L.P., the developer of Interchange Online Network, a pioneering online information service that makes it easy to create and access electronic information.
As a next-generation publishing platform, the Interchange Online Network is providing pilot publishers with an advanced architecture and editorial tools that enable them to build attractive franchises and control every aspect of online publishing--including presentation of their brand identity, layout of their content, pricing and advertising.
For users, Interchange provides a collection of online services, each focused on a particular special interest topic. Interchange makes it easy for users to find and use information on the service and to participate in active communities drawn together by special interests.
Interchange is in beta testing with thousands of users and commercial availability is planned in 1995.
Pilot publishers who have announced plans to develop special interest services on Interchange include Ziff-Davis, The Washington Post, the Minneapolis-based Star Tribune and Cowles Business Media.
The acquisition of Interchange complements and advances AT&T's strategy of providing open and intelligent "hosting" networks in which publishers, software companies, information providers and others can offer their products and services to their customers.
"With its advanced architecture and new business model for online publishing, Interchange is clearly leading the next generation of online information services," said John C. Petrillo, president of Business Communications Services at AT&T. "Bringing this product to market represents our continuing commitment to provide AT&T customers with easy access to valuable content, as well as innovative and sophisticated ways of communicating."
"AT&T brings enormous advantages to Interchange Online Network and to its publishing partners," said Michael E. Kolowich president of Interchange Online Network. "This is true not only in the obvious things like telephony and global data networking, but also in transaction processing and in the art of caring for millions of customers. We'd already planned 1995 introductions online, on the Internet and on CD-ROM. AT&T allows us to raise our sights and gives our customers access to entirely new information delivery channels."
Kolowich will report to Petrillo under the new ownership of Interchange, which will continue to be based in Cambridge, Mass. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
"The Interchange team did a great job creating a compelling platform that's a significant leap forward in electronic publishing technology," said Robert Ziff, speaking on behalf of the Ziff family. "We have been proud to sponsor this effort to date. Our goal was to find a great home for Interchange where it could reach its full potential. With its vast resources and strong commitment to this business, AT&T will certainly help Interchange achieve that potential and much more."
AT&T and Ziff-Davis also announced a long-term strategic agreement by which Interchange Online Network will serve as a key platform for Ziff-Davis online services. Ziff-Davis is developing Interchange Computing, the first special interest online information service on Interchange Online Network.
AT&T is the world's networking leader, providing communications services and products, as well as network equipment and computer systems, to businesses, consumers, telecommunications services providers and government agencies.
Interchange is a trademark of Interchange Network Company.
For more information, reporters may contact
Ed Lopez - AT&T
Lisa Landa - AT&T New Media Services
Greg Jarboe - Ziff-Davis Publishing Company