PSINet Moves into Austria

Increasing its presence in Europe, PSINet Inc. today announced that it has acquired two private Austrian ISPs (Internet service providers), giving it coverage in the northeastern and western regions of the country.

The companies, CSO.Net Telecom Services GmbH and Netwing EDV-Dienstleistungsges mbH, will be combined to become PSINet Austria. Both companies will be integrated into PSINet Europe to offer a range of services, including Web hosting and e-commerce and security services.

CSO.Net, based in Vienna, provides Internet connectivity and Web applications to business and consumers. Its customers include ARD, one of Germany's television broadcasting corporations; Novell; and the Austrian Chamber of Export. Netwing, in Tirol, serves consumers and businesses with Internet connectivity. Both companies were founded in 1995.

PSINet did not disclose the financial terms of the acquisitions, which will give PSINet a two-thirds share of Austria's Internet users, said Bob Leahy, senior vice president of marketing and communications of the Herndon, Virginia-based ISP. However, Austria is not one of the top 20 countries generating 80 percent of the revenues of the telecommunications business, he said.

PSINet, which aims to make acquisitions in those 20 countries, currently needs to make inroads into four more countries to achieve its goal. The countries yet to be entered are China, Taiwan, Sweden and Australia, according to Leahy.

The ISP further intends to be in the next 30 markets that, coupled with the top 20 list, generate 95 percent of the revenues of the telecommunications industry, Leahy said. PSINet anticipates more acquisitions in Europe, he added.

PSINet, a global facilities-based Internet Protocol (IP) data communications carrier, recently acquired six ISPs in Latin America: three in Brazil, two in México and one in Argentina. Those countries are the three largest IT markets in Latin America.

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