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Online dating agency Sirius is merging with rivals Dateline and Elite. And to talk up the deal Sirius boss Chris Matthews is trotting out such an old urban myth about meeting someone on the Web that it beggars belief.

Matthews reckons he did some extensive research before agreeing the deal. This involved using another online dating agency, not Dateline or Elite, to meet a special young lady friend. It turned out he had been chatting away to a 50-year-old Aussie welder, who probably had a hairy arse.

This story is being used to prove that Sirius, Dateline and Elite, with their superior security, will never let any of their clients end up on date with someone who might make them reconsider their sexual orientation - unlike the rivals.

Whether the welder revealed himself to Matthews during the online chat, or they had a date and Matthews spotted something was wrong is not made clear.

The new business, to be called OneSaturday, will be floated on the AIM within the month.



The Dutch cable TV company behind broadband Internet service chello is taking a 25 per cent stake in UK cable company Telewest.



The deal means Telewest, which intends to be an Internet powerhouse by delivering broadband access along its cables, continues to be dominated by US operations. Microsoft has agreed to buy 29.9 per cent of Telewest and is waiting for the deal to be cleared by EU regulators.

Dutch based United Pan-Europe Communications (UPC) is a subsidiary of the US telecoms group GlobalCom. It is buying the Telewest stake owned by Liberty Media, the media content arm of AT&T. UPC gets the economic benefits but Liberty retains the voting rights.

Telewest had been interested in buying a stake in chello but talks had stalled. It is believed the UPC deal may lead to negotiations starting again.



JSB Software, world leaders in helping big business stop their employees muck about on the Internet, is moving into the home and education markets. Cheshire based JSB has paid $100 million to buy CyberPatrol, which sells software to stop users sending out personal information, limit the amount of time kids spend online and filter chatroom conversations.




Carphone Warehouse has been valued at £1.6 billion prior to its flotation next month. Founder Charles Dunstone will cash in £56 million from selling shares and still keep 38 per cent of the business. CFO David Ross is banking £42 million. ®

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