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Microsoft to relaunch MSN in Europe

It's probably a scam to trash Rick Belluzzo's performance-related bonus...

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According to a report in the Berlin newspaper Die Welt am Sonntag yesterday, Microsoft will relaunch MSN in Europe sometime in the next 12 to 18 months. Bernard Vergnes, the Microsoft VP for the UK and Europe, says MSN will start anew. Country manager Gregory Gordon said that a service could kick off in October. AOL has already decided to undercut Deutsche Telekom's Internet service in Germany by offering an unlimited monthly subscription of DM9.90. MSN had only 30,000 German customers when the plug was pulled. Whether this decision comes from Richard Belluzzo, the new supremo who is supposed to start work at Microsoft's consumer division tomorrow, is uncertain but probably unlikely. If Microsoft feels it has to offer MSN free, it is hard to see how it will be able to recover its costs - and the European Commission may decide to investigate whether Microsoft is abusing its dominant position by leveraging its dominance in other markets. ®

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