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Freeserve's share price was in free-fall this morning wiping 20 per cent off the value of Britain's biggest ISP.

By mid morning it had lost 86.75p touching down at 352p.

The trick, though, is trying to work out why.

Was it because the market got a dose of the jitters following a loss of confidence in Amazon.com on Friday?

Or perhaps it was due to weekend speculation and confirmation today that T-Online had pulled out of a deal to buy the Freeserve.

A statement issued today read: "On 8 May, in response to press speculation, Dixons confirmed that it was considering its options in respect of its shareholding in Freeserve. Since then Freeserve and Dixons have had discussions with a number of parties, including T-Online, about a variety of potential transactions. Whilst certain discussions continue, Freeserve does not expect that this process will lead in the near future to a bid for the whole of Freeserve."

Of course, troubles on Wall Street and Freeserve's failed buy-out bid are reason enough for investors to turn their back on the ISP. Freeserve's financial performance may also have put people off.

Although turnover hit £19.6 million, compared to last year, this was matched by losses for the year ended 29 April 2000. Before exceptional items and taxation losses rolled in at £19.7 million.

Page impressions increased 137 per cent on the year tipping the scales at 151.5 million in May 2000 compared to May 1999. And the number of active registered dial-up accounts is just a whisker under two million - 1.934 million to be exact, according to Freeserve.

Despite being hit with a triple whammy John Pluthero, Freeserve's CEO, remained upbeat. "These results demonstrate the growing strength of our financial performance, which is underpinned by the ever-increasing popularity of our portals.

"Our revenues are up, our operating losses are down, our reach is increased," he said. ®

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