Cash Register 1-15 Nov 1999

Daily Net Finance News

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15 Nov 1999 Forrester Research has acquired British Internet analyst firm Fletcher Research for an undisclosed sum - although Forrester estimates that it will incur a one-time charge in the fourth quarter ranging from $500,000 to $700,000 for costs related to the transaction. William Reeve and Neil Bradford, co-founders of Fletcher Research, will continue to oversee the company's operations together with its existing management team

The Northern Rock is closing a number of its high street branches to concentrate on telephone and Internet banking.

The eXchange Holdings Plc - which floated in August - launched its first electronic intermediary on Friday. emfinance.com is an online mortgage brokerage service that can provide full mortgage loan approval online, subject to status, within 20 minutes. It has secured £1.5bn to support its business and has attracted a number of partners including The Woolwich Plc, Bristol & West, Birmingham Midshires, Market Harborough, West Bromwich Building Society and The Mortgage Business.

12 Nov 1999 Freeserve has teamed up with web-based training outfit, DPEC, to offer interactive training courses on more 300 essential computer topics. The new online service is tailor-made for home users, SoHo workers, small businesses and SMEs and can be found here

British property website HouseWeb has linked up with First Global to offer online life assurance quotations to its visitors.

More than seven million people in Britain could buy something online in the run-up to Christmas, according to a report commissioned by Freeserve.

11 Nov 1999 Simple Minds singer Jim Kerr has acquired a 20 per cent of the alive and kicking student website, Student-7.com, according to the FT.

365 Corporation, which is looking to float on the London Stock Exchange, has set its market capitalisation at around £259.2m. The valuation is based on a share price of between 135p and 150p. If successful, the float should raise around £50m for the media company.

Energis plc is to acquire Dutch telecoms opaerator EnerTel and its associated assets for £352m. The transaction comprises the acquisition of 100 per cent of the entire share capital of EnerTel's holding company WorldPort Europe Holding BV, together with two switches in New York and London.

10 Nov 1999 Energis plc has paid £7.5mfor a 5.6 per cent stake in Israeli Net company, Geo Interactive Media. It's also ploughing a further £7.5 million investment into GEO in exchange for exclusive four-year European-wide rights to GEO's patented audio and video streaming technology. This move will allow Planet Online, a business ISP and member of the Energis Group, to launch itself as a Media Internet Service Provider in both the UK and in Europe, the company said today.

Thus, the telco and Internet company from ScottishPower, floated on the stock market today, valuing the company at around £2.2bn. Shares opened at 330p and by mid afternoon were trading up 11p at 341p. Earlier in the day they peaked at 387.5p.

9 Nov 1999 European online auction house QXL.com, lost £14m for the first six-months to September 30, although sales increased threefold to £3.16m over the same period. The company said the losses were in line with its expectations. QXL.com completed its flotation on the London Stock Exchange and on NASDAQ last month. It also announced today a new marketing deal with AOL Germany, following on from similar agreements with AOL UK and AOL France.

Internet content provider, games developer and publisher On-line Plc made available 650,000 shares today following calls from the market for greater liquidity. The shares were placed at 130p and raised £845,000 for the company. MD Michael Hodges said: "We have been advised that the scarcity of On-line stock currently in the market is inhibiting all but small investors participating in the company's shares. This placing is designed to address this issue."

Toysrus.com reported a one thousand per cent increase in site traffic last weekend resulting in a record number of orders and sales for the toy e-tailer. It would not disclose exact sales figures. The company also said it had quadrupled its servers in anticipation of a spike in traffic in the run-up to Christmas.

8 Nov 1999 Shareholders of Internet Technology Group (ITG) today backed plans for the independent ISP to be bought out by Concentric Networks Corporation for £146 million.

FMR Corp, the parent holding company for various subsidiaries including Fidelity Investment Services Limited, has acquired more than 1.5 million shares in speech recognition outfit Vocalis. The purchase of ordinary shares represents a 3.58 per cent stake in the Cambridge company.

E*TRADE UK has become the first online broker to support the FTSE's new hi-tech share market techMARK.

5 Nov 1999 UK journo discovers new search engine in head

Amazon gets in on the gavel action

Web ads drawing huge investments -- analyst

Amazon vs. Amazon case settled

4 Nov 1999 News Corp plans to float some of its online businesses within the next two years. Rupert Murdoch, News Corp CEO and chairman, yesterday showed he had switched his anti-Internet views, and claimed the Web was the "absolute key" to the company's future. "We don't believe we've missed the boat at all," said Murdoch, who earlier this year claimed the Web would "destroy more businesses than it creates".

Bookworm busted for £100k online book scam

Skip to the Boo, my darling

Tesco & RBS launch Net bank

Computacenter touts e-commerce for the corporate rich

3 Nov 1999 Beenz.com took a giant stride towards affirming its place as a web currency following a deal with online music maestro, MP3.com. As part of the deal beenz.com will sponsor MP3.com's Music and Technology Tour, currently visiting 28 colleges in the US. In return, MP3.com will give away beenz to MP3 music lovers.

Web investor NetVest plc has ploughed an undisclosed amount of cash into British comparison shopping service, Shopgenie. The deal funds Shopgenie's move to new offices in Guildford and allows the outfit to develop its Web site.

Investment house New Horizons is looking to plough up to £10m into Net start-ups. An ad in today's FT has prompted scores of calls from e-ntrepreneurs looking for a slice of pie.

2 Nov 1999 Stewart Binnie, Chairman of NetBenefit, told the company's AGM today that first quarter sales were growing at more than eight per cent a month, putting it on course to double its sales by year end. He also said that staff numbers had grown from 25 to 43 since it floated three months ago.

A new subscription-free ISP from electricity provider PowerGen will offer customers discounts on their utility bills depending on how much time they spend online. The service, Surf&Save, will be made available to all PowerGen's 750,000 shareholders and 2.2 million customers. The service will be provided by Virtual Internet Provider plc, a subsidiary of Affinity Internet Holdings Plc.

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