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Nifty Corp., Japan’s largest Internet service provider, said Wednesday it will tie up with Germany’s Online, the largest ISP in Europe.

Under the arrangement, the two companies will allow their subscribers to use each other’s access points in Japan and Europe and provide online shopping and various other Web-based services.

Nifty, a wholly owned unit of Fujitsu Ltd., has some 3.9 million subscribers, while T-Online, a unit of Deutsche Telekom AG, has about 6 million.

By joining forces, the two firms hope to compete better with the world’s largest ISP, America Online Inc., which has 24 million subscribers worldwide, they said.

Nifty has been expanding its presence in Asia since July by forming alliances with Hong Kong and South Korean ISPs.

Earlier this month, T-Online said it had purchased a Spanish ISP.

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