Speculation grows ahead of Freeserve, Dixons split

Better to have loved and lost...

There's fresh speculation that Dixons is to ditch its long-standing relationship with Freeserve and cuddle up instead with AOL UK.

The move would mean that AOL's software would be pre-loaded on PCs flogged by Dixons with the giant electrical retailers earning commission for new sign-ups.

According to the Telegraph, Freeserve's ejection from Dixons' stores is a result of the French-owned ISP being unable to match the £10 million reportedly offered by AOL.

The new arrangement - which only applies to narrowband Net access - is expected to begin from February next year.

Speculation that Freeserve could lose its prime slot in Dixons Group stores surfaced in June following reports that BT and AOL had held secret talks with Dixons.

BT later admitted that it had held talks with Dixons but ruled itself out due to concerns that such a move might draw criticism from rivals.

Both AOL UK and Freeserve declined to comment. No one from Dixons was available for comment at the time of writing. ®

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