Asda joins forces with AOL

Wal-Mart's grocery chain in e-shopping pact with AOL Europe and ShopSmart

Asda is taking a big step into e-commerce in a new alliance with AOL Europe and comparison-shopping site ShopSmart.com. The grocery store chain, owned by the US' Wal-Mart, will distribute AOL's online-access discs in exchange for becoming the preferred food and drink retailer on AOL Europe's shopping and lifestyle channels.

AOL and Asda will jointly take a 22.5 percent stake in ShopSmart, and will promote the site in Asda's 240 UK stores and German Wal-Marts.

Grocery chain competitors have made aggressive moves onto the Internet, with Tesco offering in-store e-commerce terminals and expanding its online shopping service.

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