T-Online ain't buying Freeserve – not yet, anyway
Yahoo! plans to buy everything else
Deutsche Telekom's Internet unit, T-Online, has dampened the bid frenzy for UK ISP Freeserve by announcing a joint UK venture with One2One, a fellow DT subsidiary.
One2One would not confirm that the companies were in discussions over a new service, but told The Guardian: "It is not unusual for both parties to talk to each other about various projects."
T-Online must remain the favourite to buy Freeserve, so it could well be into clever negotiating mode here. To date, the world+dog has assumed the company will pay up to 6 billion to acquire Freeserve. This is a huge premium on what the British ISP was worth before Dixons announced it was to sell the company.
By playing tough, T-Online may be able to ratchet the price down to more realistic levels. After all, it is not as if Freeserve has too many places to go. Also, this is the right time to sell this Pan-UK company. Next year, it will be worth much less.
Californian Internet giant Yahoo! is planning a string of takeovers in the European market. "We will see similar consolidation opportunities in Europe as we did in the United States and you will see us being very opportunistic and aggressive," Yahoo! founder Jerry Yang toldReuters
. The search engine company has just entered acquisition talks with online music service Myplay. Yahoo rival Lycos is currently being bought by Spain's Terra Network's.
Online personal finance service Interactive Investor International warns it expects revenues in the second half of the year to show relatively modest growth compared to Q1 revenue due to a "significant decline in equity market activity worldwide". In a statement issued today, the company explained: "This has depressed transaction volumes and related revenues and, in particular, the revenues we derive from equity transactions, the retail placement of shares in initial public offerings and subscriptions.
"In addition, capacity constraints suffered by many private client brokers earlier in the year have continued to affect broker sponsorships on our site and the revenues we derive from the construction and operation of equity trading systems has also been affected."
Stephen Murphy, one of the top dogs at Richard Branson's Virgin, has jumped ship to run dotcom start up IP Powerhouse. Powerhouse, an Internet infrastructure company, has raised $60 million from investors including Deutsche Bank and CapVest, AIG's venture capital arm. Powerhouse plans to build five web hosting server farms across Europe, and will also provide switching and telecoms services. ®