Scoot cuts Internet deal with AirTouch

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The Independent Online
SCOOT.COM, THE Internet and telephone information group which used to be known as Freepages, yesterday extended its partnership with Vodafone AirTouch by agreeing to provide its Internet search service for free to the mobile phone company's British customers.

The agreement, the financial terms of which were not disclosed, will enable Vodafone customers to receive the results of enquiries on "Scoot People Finder'' on their handset as a text message. The service will be available through Vodafone's website as well as Scoot's.

Oxford-based Scoot has agreements with telecommunications, digital TV and media companies to increase its visibility as it competes with other directory services. "The type of relationships that we have with Vodafone work well both from their side and from our side and that's something that we will continue to build upon," Scoot chief executive Robert Bonnier said.

The agreement provides an extra, exclusive service to Vodafone customers, who canalready contact Scoot's free telephone business directory service directly by dialling 333.

Scoot shares, which had already risen 140 per cent this year, gained 1.25p, or 3 per cent, to 47.5p yesterday.

Shares in Vodafone ended up 36p at 1233p.