BT and WH Smith sign Internet deal

BT and WH Smith get chummy on Net business

Telecommunications top dog BT (quote: BT.A) and high-street bookseller WH Smith clinched a mutually beneficial Internet deal Thursday making WH Smith Online principal books retailer on all BT's Internet portal interests. These include, BT Internet and the free email service talk21.

In return BT is to become WH Smith's preferred telecoms supplier for all its Internet services.

The deal may help WH Smith reach its goal to control at least 30 percent of the Britain's online book retailing market.

The arrangement highlights WH Smith's determination to turn itself into an Internet savvy retailer. The company, which owns 770 high-street stores across Britain, saw Internet profits of £5m in the year to August 1999.

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