America Online And Pearson Launch Education Alliance

Pearson's Learning Network To Be A Premier Supplier of Educational Content and Online Learning Tools to Several AOL Brands

Agreement Will Provide Users of Several AOL Brands with Educational Opportunities from K-12 to Adult Education

LONDON, UK and DULLES, VA, June 29, 2000 -- America Online, Inc. (NYSE: AOL), the world's leading interactive services company, and Pearson plc, the international media company, today announced a broad strategic alliance under which Pearson's online Learning Network will provide educational content and online learning tools to users of several America Online, Inc. brands.

Under the three-year agreement, Pearson's Learning Network will be an anchor tenant on the main screen of AOL's Research and Learn Channel, providing educational content for all stages of a person's life, from pre-school to adult learning, including ongoing education and professional training. In addition, the Learning Network's educational resources and tools will be promoted widely through AOL Workplace, AOL Families, and other areas of the AOL service, as well as through learning-related areas of AOL.COM, Netscape Netcenter and CompuServe. The Learning Network primarily draws on content, tools and distribution channels from Pearson businesses and includes other leading print and Internet education companies and consumer publishers.

Learning Network content will be available to users of these AOL brands through a co-branded site consisting of four broad learning categories: School (K-12); Higher Education; Corporate/Professional Development; and non-academic, consumer-based learning. Each category will offer focused learning information, ranging from class support tools and resources to help parents be involved in their children's education, to corporate-specific business education and management development.

In related news, Pearson today announced the acquisition of FamilyEducation Network (FEN), an online K-12 network for parents, teachers, and students. The Boston, Massachusetts-based FEN is currently an education content provider on the AOL service, offering a broad array of resources to enable parents to be involved in their children's development. AOL will continue to be a minority shareholder in FEN.

Marjorie Scardino, chief executive of Pearson, said: "The Internet personalizes learning to individual needs in a way that has never been possible before. I am delighted to bring our industry-leading education content and global resources to the users of AOL's brands. Together, we can offer an unmatched environment for anyone looking to learn."

Bob Pittman, President and Chief Operating Officer, America Online, said: "We are deeply committed to improving education by leveraging all the online medium has to offer. Together with Pearson, we can present educational opportunities for people at every stage of their lives, from the pre-school student whose parents are looking to help, to the professional who wants to expand his or her career choices."

Notes

About America Online, Inc.
Founded in 1985, America Online, Inc., based in Dulles, Virginia, is the world's leader in interactive services, Web brands, Internet technologies, and e-commerce services. America Online, Inc. operates: America Online, with more than 23 million members, and CompuServe, with more than 2.7 million members, the company's two worldwide Internet services; several leading Internet brands including ICQ, AOL Instant Messenger and Digital City, Inc.; the Netscape Netcenter and AOL.COM portals; the Netscape Netcenter and Communicator browsers; AOL Moviefone, the nation's #1 movie listing guide and ticketing service; and Spinner.com and NullSoft's Winamp, leaders in Internet music. Through its strategic alliance with Sun Microsystems, the company develops and offers easy-to-deploy, end-to-end and enterprise solutions for companies operating in the Net Economy.

About Pearson plc
Pearson plc is an international media company. Its major business operations are: The Financial Times group, which has an international network of business and financial newspapers and online services which are read by millions of business executives and investors every day; Pearson Education, the world's leading education business, which helps teachers teach and students learn at every stage and in every part of the world; The Penguin Group, which is one of the pre-eminent names in consumer publishing, with an unrivalled range of fiction and non-fiction, bestsellers and classic titles; Recoletos, one of the top media companies in Spain; and Pearson Television, which is merging with CLT-Ufa to create Europe's leading integrated broadcasting and communications group.

For further information

America Online, Inc.

 

David Theis

 

+1 703-265-1491

 

Pearson plc

 

John Fallon

 

+44 (0)20 7411 2310


john.fallon@pearson.com