In its second-largest acquisition, Amazon buys the company for $970 million.
AT&T’s new prepaid service is a proprietary card aimed at sellers of online digital content such as interactive games, ring tones, graphics, maps, guidebooks, digital music, streaming audio and video, software and research services.
AT&T; today started the rollout of the AT&T; PrePaid Web Cents Service, a pre-paid subscription card that consumers will use to make purchases on the Internet. The cards are available at Speedway SuperAmerica and UniMart stores. AT&T; expects the cards to be available in 4,000 outlets by the end of this month.
The service is a proprietary card aimed at sellers of online digital content such as interactive games, ring tones, graphics, maps, guidebooks, digital music, streaming audio and video, software and research services. The cards are branded with the web site’s name and offer access to and payment for content at that site. “These cards are content-provider specific and enable web-based content providers to expand their market by bringing online digital content to stores,” says an AT&T; spokesman.
Online sellers Cellus USA, Disney Online, Shockwave.com GameBlast and Vindigo are accepting the card for payment.
"Millions of consumers want to purchase compelling online content, but don`t because they don`t have a credit card or are hesitant to use one for security or privacy reasons," says John Polumbo, president of AT&T; Consumer. "We`re solving that dilemma today by expanding the capability of the most robust prepaid platform in communications to manage retail purchases of these leading companies` online digital content."
AT&T; says it will manage production, warehousing, inventory, fulfillment and point-of-sale activation of the content providers` specialty cards. AT&T; also says it can handle transaction processing functions: PIN database management, payment authentication, customer service and settlements with retailers.
AT&T; says Disney Online is planning cards for Disney`s Blast, a subscription-based, advertising-free online service that offers more than 100 games and activities, and Disney`s Toontown, a massively multiplayer 3-D online game for children and families. Cellus USA will offer MobileCraze Cards, which can be used to purchase online content for a mobile phone, including ring tones, jokes, voice-mail greetings, and picture messages. Shockwave.com GameBlast will sell subscription cards for access to more than 40 action, sports and puzzle games. Vindigo 2.0 will offer subscription cards to purchase local information services for handheld devices.