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MSN swims against the tide with price rise

Cost of Net access in the US goes up by $2

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Microsoft has increased the cost of its MSN Net service in the US by $2 a month in a move that is set to raise eyebrows among industry watchers. Only last month discount e-tailer MyShoppingClub announced it was to give new club members access to MSN for nothing. Consumers joining the $59 a year discount shopping club would not have to pay a cent to get online using MSN -- a saving of $19.95 a month. This was quickly followed by another discount store Costco Online offering MSN access to its members for just $11.99 a month. There was much speculation that MSN would cut the cost of its service after the Wall Street Journal claimed Microsoft bosses were looking into low-cost Net access for the US. "We intend to be aggressive with access," said Brad Chase, VP of Microsoft's new consumer and commerce group, at the time. This latest move appears to show that MSN has completed a U-turn on its pricing strategy. The Satan of ISPs said that users would get a better service and improved content as a result of the price hike. ®

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