Microsoft, Excite@Home and Ticketmaster Online-CitySearch Team With FairMarket to Create Online Auction Network With Largest Distribution Worldwide

WOBURN, Mass., Sept. 17, 1999 — FairMarket Inc., Microsoft Corp., Excite@Home and Ticketmaster Online-CitySearch Inc. (TMCS) today jointly announced a relationship that creates an online auction network that can reach more than 46 million unduplicated visitors, or 73.3 percent of all Internet users, the largest distribution of any auction network in the world. With the launch of the and Excite@Home auctions ( and ) and the planned launch of TMCS auctions, FairMarket also unveiled the FairMarket Auction Network SM , an alliance of auction sites comprising the three new auctions along with auctions on Lycos, Tripod,, EarthLink, ZDNet, PBS Online, CBS SportsLine,,,,, Global Vacation Group, NewLine Cinema, and many other e-commerce leaders.

The FairMarket Auction Network uniquely gives buyers and sellers a rich selection of auction resources without leaving the comfortable environment of their favorite portal site or e-commerce vendor. Consumers can use any one of the FairMarket merchant auction or portal sites to access buying and selling opportunities on the FairMarket Auction Network.

“Our goal with shopping is to provide people with the best way to find, evaluate and purchase products on the Internet,”
said Rob Bennett, director of marketing, Consumer and Commerce Group at Microsoft.
“By joining the FairMarket network to provide auction services, our users will have access to another great way to buy merchandise on the Web without leaving”

Uniting Auction Users on the Web

The FairMarket Auction Network is a collection of FairMarket-powered, private-label merchant and community auction sites connected through a single massive database of goods and services that is shared across the network. For example, a customer looking for a Dell computer in an auction on, Excite or Lycos will automatically see merchandise available from the site, as well as person-to-person auction listings from other FairMarket Auction Network sites. This strong network provides both a compelling marketplace for vendors selling new and refurbished high-quality merchandise to a huge online audience as well as an extremely dynamic trading place for person-to-person auctions.

“Auctions have always been an area of strategic focus for us and continue to be a cornerstone of our electronic commerce strategy, along with our classifieds business,”
said David Sze, senior vice president, Strategy and Network Programming, Excite@Home.
“With this relationship, we are bringing our users access to the biggest market of buying and selling personal goods available anywhere online or offline.”

“We are pleased to be a part of the FairMarket effort and connected to a network that will give us access to a greater selection of auction goods to our users,”
said Charles Conn, CEO of Ticketmaster Online-CitySearch.
“This comprehensive approach is a great way to build a genuinely global-scale auction service for our local markets.”

“I founded FairMarket two years ago on the belief that online auctions would be one of the most strategic forces in e-commerce,”
said Scott Randall, CEO of FairMarket.
“The addition of two of the leading portals and several Fortune 500 companies to our current roster of industry leaders immediately brings the FairMarket Auction Network into the forefront of the Internet auction world. We look forward to continued growth and success as we build the strongest auction environment for consumers and businesses on the Web.”

As key members of the alliance, Microsoft, Excite@Home and TMCS will invest in FairMarket. Financial terms of the investments were not disclosed.

The FairMarket Solution

FairMarket AuctionPlace is a comprehensive technology and services offering for companies that want a private-label auction. FairMarket provides hosting and support including extensive security and fraud prevention, billing, collection and customer service. FairMarket sites are members of the FairMarket Auction Network.

For merchants looking for the expansive reach of the FairMarket Auction Network without building their own auction site, FairMarket provides a new distribution channel that makes it easy to list and sell items throughout all FairMarket sites.

“Lycos has proven that the network model is a winner for rapidly growing a strong online community,”
said Jeff Bennett, vice president of e-commerce at Lycos.
“We are confident that Lycos Auctions users will benefit from our integration into the auction network that FairMarket is creating.”

About Ticketmaster Online-CitySearch (TMCS)

Ticketmaster Online-CitySearch Inc. (Nasdaq
“TMCS” ) is a leading provider of practical tools for living that help make the Internet an indispensable part of people’s everyday lives. The TMCS family of Web sites includes CitySearch local city guides (, Ticketmaster Online (, CityAuction (, Match.Com (, One & Only Network ( and LiveDaily ( In July, TMCS announced plans to acquire the entertainment city guide portion of the Microsoft® Sidewalk. Combined, these Web sites guide and facilitate widespread local transactions and help people save time and money in their local communities. TMCS is located in Pasadena, Calif.

About Excite@Home

Excite@Home (Nasdaq
) is a global media company based in Redwood City, Calif. Through the company’s narrowband portal, Excite (, and broadband services, @Home and @Work, the company uniquely offers consumers content and interactive services across both narrowband and broadband. The rich media advertising and database marketing solutions of Enliven ( and MatchLogic ( offer advertisers highly targeted interactive marketing and reporting services across all platforms of delivery. Leveraging the high-speed, always-on attributes of cable, Excite@Home empowers unique multimedia applications that go beyond current Web experiences. The company will combine the Excite brand – one of the best-known names on the Internet, with 70 percent recognition among Web users – with the @Home broadband service’s broad distribution, a worldwide footprint of 67 million cable homes, to deliver on its vision of
“All Band, All Device, All the Time.”

More investor information about Excite@Home, is available from its stockholder services hot line at (888) 924-9248.

About Microsoft

The MSN TM network of Internet services from Microsoft helps people better organize the Web around what’s important to them. The network of MSN services, located on the Web at ( ), helps people easily stay in touch with friends and colleagues, make smart and secure purchasing decisions, and get more done. offers award-winning e-mail functionality; personal communications services; wireless services information; customizable access to news; popular sites for travel, investing, automotive services, shopping and more; an online community; a Web search engine and directories; and top-rated Internet access.

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq
) is the worldwide leader in software for personal computers. The company offers a wide range of products and services for business and personal use, each designed with the mission of making it easier and more enjoyable for people to take advantage of the full power of personal computing every day.

About FairMarket

FairMarket Inc., founded in 1997 and based in Woburn, Mass., provides online, hosted auctions for e-commerce leaders. The company has created the FairMarket Auction Network, the largest online auction network comprising the leading portals and private-label, customized solution that helps companies expand their distribution and create a new e-commerce profit center. FairMarket can be reached at (800) 531-7871 or via the Web at

Microsoft and MSN are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.

Other product and company names herein may be trademarks of their respective owners.

Ticketmaster Online-CitySearch is the owner or licensee of its name and logo trademarks and service marks. All other trademarks and trade names are the property of their respective owners.

Note to editors: If you are interested in viewing additional information on Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft Web page at on Microsoft’s corporate information pages.

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