Study: 1 in 4 Western Europeans Now Online

Europeans welcomed the Internet and electronic commerce into their homes in 1999, according to a study conducted by International Data Corp. (IDC).

According to the report, one in four Western Europeans are now Internet users.

IDC surveyed 10,600 people age 15 and over in 12 countries: Germany, the U.K., Denmark, Switzerland, Austria, Finland, Norway, Spain, Italy, the Netherlands, Sweden and France.

The report, called European Internet and Commerce -- Ready for 2000?, attributed higher penetration to free Internet service providers.

Other findings included the following:

5% of adults purchased an item online in the last three months.

Most European users surf on the Web for less than one hour per week.

France, Italy and Spain had the fewest Internet users, while Finland, Norway, Sweden and Denmark had the most.

Europeans are more concerned about credit-card security than cost and slow service.

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