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The European Commission is set to investigate the proposed ¢80 billion merger between AOL and Time Warner, according to The Times. The four month antitrust investigation would examine the implications brought about by major deals between media and Internet companies. No one at the Commission was available for comment this morning.



Investment outfit Europ@web is set to announce tomorrow its intention to IPO, according to the pink paper's "Growing Business Correspondent". Europ@web's portfolio included the failed b-2-c etailer, boo.com. The investment company is expected to be valued anywhere between $3 billion and $6 billion.




World Online is doing a bit of retail therapy following its bungled flotation. Chairman James Kinsella said the company would spend its cash - all &163;1.1 billion of it - on acquisitions and retail deals. This would help to consolidate the industry, he said.



The company suffered a share collapse after it was revealed that the previous chair, Nina Brink, had sold all her shares prior to the company's flotation. Kinsella's appointment is expected to be approved at today's shareholder meeting.



ITouch, a company set up to provide content for mobile phones, launched its UK service today. This is a precursor to a stock market flotation. Tony O’Reilly’s Independent News & Media group has appointed investment bank Merrill Lynch to prepare for an IPO of part of its 70 per cent stake in the business. The

FT

says an announcement is imminent. The ITouch Wap service offers users news, share information, and classified adverts.




A company has been launched to lend a hand to net firms shaken by the collapse of confidence in the dotcom sector. Julian Treger and Brian Myreson, better known for their work with more traditional companies, have founded Techrescue.co.uk. The firm will be 67 per cent owned by Illuminator and 33 per cent by Shore Capital. Treger said: "The Internet is not going away, it is just becoming less fashionable. We are looking for private companies which have not been able to get to the market... but have a significant business." ®

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