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The ailing Comdex show in Las Vegas is off. The promoter which owns the rights, and which also puts on the JavaOne, Networld+Interop and Seybold events, has decided that the old albatross isn't worth feeding this year. However Media International insists that this is merely a US postponement in 2004 and that Comdex will take place again in Las Vegas in 2005 - it's already booked a telephone booth. In other countries, whose economies haven't slumped quite as dramatically as the United States', Comdex will continue. So it's full steam ahead for Comdex Greece.

In its heyday Comdex drew a quarter of a million visitors to two huge Las Vegas exhibition halls, LVCC and Sands, but last year could only attract 50,000 and had to give away floor space for free to attract exhibitors. Only last week Media International was telling us how smaller was really better. "Report by Exhibit Surveys, Inc. Reveals that COMDEX 2003 Attendees are Highly Qualified and are in the Market to Purchase," we learn from an excited press release issued last Wednesday.

Originally conceived by Bill Ziff as a way of plugging his magazines and his advertisers, the show was acquired by Softbank in the 1990s, which bought Ziff Davis Events. But after the mighty Softbank empire [don't you mean "debt-bloated carcass?" - ed.] was split asunder, the new owners, Key3Media, declared themselves bankrupt. The firm, which had run up $370m of debts, has been nursed along by its current owner, a private equity fund called Thomas Weisel Capital Partners.®

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