Signs with AOL Europe and AOL Europe have signed a deal which will see Lastminute`s technology incorporated into the internet service provider`s services.

The deal will give Lastminute access to AOL Europe`s five million members.

The two companies struck an advertising alliance two years ago, but the new deal will see much deeper integration.

AOL Europe will incorporate the booking and search engines into its travel, entertainment and shopping services across its services in the UK, France and Germany.

Vote of Confidence

ADVERTISEMENT - which sells tickets at short notice for holidays, entertainment events and gifts - became one of the UK`s best known dot.coms during the internet boom.

And it quickly became the butt of jokes about the hype surrounding the sector when its share price crashed shortly after flotation in March 2000.

But AOL says the deal demonstrates its confidence in Lastminute`s ability to be one of the survivors in the sector.

“The depth of`s integration across our European services is a testament to our confidence in their status as winners in the e-commerce space,” said Jerry Glover, senior vice-president at AOL Europe.

“With this deal, we look forward to extending a proven and successful relationship.”

Lastminute said the tie-up would help it in its move towards breaking even.

“The partnership is based on a strong record of performance and is in line with`s cost-effective marketing strategy as we move towards profitability,” said chief executive Brent Hoberman.