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Yahoo Signs German Net Deal

Yahoo Inc. Germany and Mannesmann Arcor AG & Co., announced an internet service link-up Thursday aimed at simplifying access to the Internet for Germans.

The companies said the deal was aimed at expanding and improving access to the Internet for Germany's 8.4 million German-speaking users. Yahoo (YHOO) is to be integrated into Mannesmann's services as a navigational tool.

Users of Mannesmann's Web site will get direct access to Yahoo's Web services by flicking a button on Yahoo's home page. The service will begin in May this year.

"We want to simplify Web access and make it more attractive," said Harald Stoeber, chairman of Mannesmann Arcor AG & Co. Stoeber's company is Germany's second largest telecommunications provider. Its mainshareholders are Mannesmann AG and Deutsche Bahn AG.

The Mannesmann unit has 100 support centers throughout Germany and has a network focused along rail lines. It has investments of up to 4 billion deutsche marks and had 1998 turnover of more than 1.8 billion marks.

Written By Gareth Vaughan, CBS MarketWatch