Be Free Enters Europe, Builds Channel for Bertelsmann

Be Free Inc., a provider of affiliate marketing sales channel technology and services, said it signed Bertelsmann Online (BOL) and will build a European merchant-branded affiliate sales channel.

Be Free will become BOL’s exclusive affiliate sales channel provider, enabling BOL to sell books and, in the near future, music, video and other multimedia products on thousands of Web sites.

BOL, the international e-commerce business of Bertelsmann AG, will establish affiliate sales channel in markets where BOL’s international Internet bookstores are present, including the United Kingdom, Germany, France and the Netherlands, and soon to include Spain and Switzerland.

Financial arrangements were not disclosed.

Be Free said it will build an infrastructure for European affiliate sales channels, overcoming barriers posed by currency, language and regulations. The move will enable Be Free to provide affiliate sales channel technology and services to online merchants across Europe, beginning in the fall.

“By partnering with BOL to build its affiliate sales channel, Be Free will support BOL’s online marketing success by establishing an infrastructure so that companies across Europe can capitalize on the benefits of affiliate programs,” said Gordon Hoffstein, president and CEO of Be Free Inc.

Using Be Free’s Affiliate Serving Technology (BFAST), BOL will establish online storefronts on its affiliates’ Web sites, marketing products by placing links in context on affiliate sites. Affiliates earn commissions for each product sold.

“This agreement with Be Free is part of our strategic plan to grow BOL in Europe as a leading Internet media shop by partnering with individual and corporate partners who are successfully running home pages, search engines and portals on the Internet,” said Heinz B. Wermelinger, president and CEO of BOL International.

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