Reports: T-Online, Freeserve Still Eyeing Merger

BERLIN (07/17/2000) - Germany's T-Online International AG is still interested in acquiring U.K.-based Freeserve PLC, according to published reports.

Britain's Observer newspaper and the Dow Jones International News Service, for example, both reported that talks are ongoing between the ISPs (Internet service providers), despite an apparent failure to reach an agreement last month.

A spokesman for Freeserve's parent company, Dixons Group PLC, who asked not to be named, referred reporters Monday to a statement released June 26, which said in part, "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."

"That's really all that we have to say at this time," said the spokesman.

Dixons announced in May that is was "considering its options" with respect to its 80 percent share in Freeserve.

A spokesman for T-Online's parent company, Deutsche Telekom AG, did not immediately return phone calls.

Freeserve, in Hertfordshire, England, can be reached at +44-1442-353000, or via the Web at http://www.freeserve.co.uk/. Deutsche Telekom, in Bonn, is at +49-228-181-4949 or at http://www.telekom.de/.

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