America Online is expected to announce next week that it has signed up Valista to provide technology that lets AOL users buy its premium services, a Valista spokesperson confirmed. The deal will allow AOL subscribers to buy individual premium services from the online giant, such as entertainment downloads and possible Internet phone calling. AOL will use Valista's micropayment technology in its billing service.
For the past two years, AOL has been selling paid services as a way to offset plummeting online-advertising revenues. The company is taking a similar strategy to rival Yahoo, which itself charges for SBC Communications' DSL access, personals and fantasy sports.