AOL, General Mills Form Pact

Times Wire Services

America Online Inc., the world's biggest Internet service provider, and General Mills Inc., whose brands include Cheerios and Hamburger Helper, set a multiyear marketing pact. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. A slowdown in ad spending by Internet companies has led many Internet media companies to step up their efforts to add established companies to their advertising base. Under the alliance, General Mills' products will be exposed to about 28 million AOL and CompuServe members. The pact will involve more than just banner advertisements, giving Web users recipes and discounts on food products. Shares of AOL rose $1.50 to close at $52 on Nasdaq, while General Mills closed off 63 cents to $41.13. Separately, AOL has formed a partnership with Charles Schwab Corp. that gives the financial services company access to the millions of people who use AOL. Under the multiyear deal, Schwab's investment information, interactive course software, online financial tools and information forums will be available on several AOL brands and properties.

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