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StrategicAlliance withFreeNet to provide free InternetAccess

Document date:  Tue 01 Feb 2000
Published:  Tue 01 Feb 2000 13:40:33
Document No:  157811
Document part:  A
Market Flag:  Y
Classification:  Other

AUSTRALIA & NEW ZEALAND BANKING GROUP LI      2000-02-01  ASX-SIGNAL-G

HOMEX - Melbourne                                                     

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ANZ and Free Net Corporation Proprietary Limited today announced a
strategic alliance to provide selected ANZ customers with free,
unrestricted internet access.

Established in 1999, Free Net Corporation (www.free.net.au), provides
free, unlimited internet and e-mail access to its registered members,
and provides advertisers with a marketing service to target
information and products/services to users based on certain
demographic profiles. Free Net Corporation currently has 30,000
registered users.

ANZ will initially refer selected customers to Free Net Corporation
as part of a pilot program in Sydney and Melbourne (where Free Net
currently operates) and later as a phased rollout to other
metropolitan cities.

As part of the alliance, Free Net will provide ANZ with an ability to
grow its market share of Internet customers and ANZ will promote Free
Net to selected customers in order to fast track customer acquisition
and increase retention.

As part of the strategic alliance, ANZ will receive a 25% equity
stake in Free Net Corporation and will have Board representation. ANZ
will also hold an option to expand its stake to 30% of Free Net
Corporation's fully diluted share capital.

ANZ Managing Director Personal e-Commerce, Mr Satyendra Chelvendra
said the alliance was part of ANZ's strategy to be a leading provider
of online financial services.

"An alliance which allows our customers to obtain free, unrestricted
internet access through a reliable, high quality Internet Service
Provider is a further step in providing our customers with a truly
differentiated online service," Mr Chelvendra said.

Free Net Corporation Chief Executive Officer, Mr Abbas Aly said the
alliance is part of Free Net's strategy to grow its range of
offerings and member numbers via affinity programs.

"This decision by ANZ to enter into an alliance with Free Net and
offer our service to selected clients reinforces our decision to
build a new media services company based on a high quality technical
platform with a clear, well supported value proposition for members
and clients," he said. 

anz.com plans to integrate the Free Net service into the marketing of 
its other online products and services including ANZ Internet 
Banking, where, it has more than 150,000 registered users, and its 
recently launched ANZ E*TRADE Online Investing service.

Completion of the ANZ-Free Net Corporation strategic alliance is
subject to the completion of due diligence by ANZ.

For media enquiries, contact:

Michelle Gibbings 
Media Relations Manager 
ANZ 
Tel: 03-9273 6190 or 0409-655 551 
Email: gibbingsm@anz.com

Dana Hartwig 
Public Relations Manager 
Free Net 
Tel: (02) 9651 6765 or 0416 072 625 
Email: dana@free.net.au