Dulles, VA, -- January 21, 1998 -- America Online, Inc. (NYSE:AOL) today announced that it acquired Personal Library Software (PLS), a leading developer of information indexing and search technologies. PLS developed the core technology for search within the AOL service. Search is used throughout the AOL service, including in such popular features as the Member Directory, AOL Find and Channel Search. PLS products are well known for their power, speed, automatic concept searching, ease-of-use, dynamic updating and scalability. PLS technology is at the core of products and services provided by leading information companies, including AT&T, Dow Jones, The Washington Post, USA Today, and Bertelsmann AG, as well as AOL. "Personal Library Software has been an important technology partner of ours for many years and is well respected throughout the industry. It has played a significant role in providing our members convenient and easy-to-use search services. Through this acquisition, AOL can better work to ensure the future of PLS technology for our members and partners," said Mike Connors, President, AOL Technologies. "This joining of forces is a natural event in the evolution of search," said PLS Chairman Paul Kagan. "The advent of huge databases, linked by the Internet, has presented information providers with new challenges in distribution to the end-user. I believe the combination of these two companies will lead to new advances in retrieval that will substantially increase the knowledge and productivity of corporations and consumers." "PLS technology has been designed and enhanced over the years with a constant purpose: to help as many people as possible find the information they need faster, easier -- and better," said Matthew Koll, a founder and former CEO of PLS who will be joining AOL. "As AOL continues its rapid growth, we have an unprecedented opportunity to help tens of millions of people - practical information seekers - turn today's potentially overwhelming mountains of information to their advantage." In exchange for AOL's common stock, AOL will obtain PLS and its family of software products. AOL plans to manage all aspects of PLS, and will continue to emphasize development of industry-leading search software while continuing to support PLS's existing customers. This transaction allows AOL to cost-effectively secure the future of the key technology supporting the service's core search engine. Currently, PLS software indexes and enables members to search over 500 content databases, with the number growing daily. The PLS search engine software on AOL allows members to navigate easily and efficiently throughout the AOL service. "We welcome PLS employees into the AOL family," said Connors. "PLS is well known for its powerful and easy-to-use search engine software, and as AOL grows and makes more content available to members, efficient and easy-to-use search features become increasingly important; member satisfaction is greatly enhanced when they are easily able to find the specific content they are seeking. This acquisition of core search technology will enable AOL to continue to improve our current search features, as well as more quickly roll out new ones in the future." Connors added, "We also look forward to working with the industry leaders who rely on PLS. AOL is committed to continuing to offer PLS clients the advanced technologies and the high quality customer service to which they have become accustomed."