Stories by Bernhard Warner

Sites Flourish as War Looms

War, sadly, can be good business for some companies. And that includes news Web sites. The fighting in the Middle East between Israeli soldiers and Palestinians has boosted traffic for independent Arab and Israeli sites covering the clashes.

Yahoo Has Tough Day in French Court

Yahoo's court defense against French anti-racist groups took a hit Monday, when a panel of experts told a Paris court that it's technologically possible to bar some French citizens from Yahoo's Nazi memorabilia auctions.

Why the Tiscali Deal Wasn't News in Germany

Late in the afternoon on Thursday, news - big news - broke. Italian ISP Tiscali SpA was acquiring Dutch competitor World Online International NV in a $5.1 billion deal. Newsrooms across Europe were buzzing, except in Germany. Why? A quirky German securities disclosure law actually forced the dealmakers to keep the German media in the dark.

Banned from the Olympics

A few weeks after Soviet tanks rolled into Budapest to put down a revolution in 1956, the Hungarian Olympic water polo team got its chance at revenge. In a gold medal match at the Melbourne, Australia Summer Games, the Hungarians whipped the Soviets in a blood-filled brawl, 4-0. It was broadcast back to the Hungarians, who, for a day at least, could hold their heads high as they walked the streets of the capital city with Soviet troops looking on.

AOL UK and Wal-Mart: This Time We're Serious

With considerably less fanfare than they brought to the announcement of a similar deal in the U.S., America Online Inc. and Wal-Mart Stores Inc. announced Wednesday that they have extended their mega-marketing alliance to Europe. But the question remains: Will it be a replay of the much-hyped, and still unseen, multimillion-dollar deal the two companies made last January?

Destination Contentville

Steven Brill, the self-appointed watchdog of journalism, wants to sell you the latest John Grisham novel, a subscription to the New Yorker and - since he's got your attention - the 164-page doctoral dissertation "An Experimental Study to Determine the Effect of Warming-Up on Golf Performance." (A hard copy goes for US$69.50.)

Target, AOL Team Up

Target Stores has made its biggest push onto the Internet, announcing on Tuesday a multiyear, multimillion-dollar marketing alliance with America Online Inc.

Boo, You're Gone!

Boo who? After just six months in operation,'s board of directors closed up shop last week, placing the online fashion retailer into receivership. Having burned through an estimated $120 million, the company fell into the hands of liquidators and U.K. courts. The rapid demise of the high-profile retailer sent shock waves through the e-commerce world, as Boo's fall was seen as a potential harbinger of a broader shakeout in Europe. Indeed, Boo isn't the only scary sign out there.

Selling Bits of may not be dead just yet. Court-appointed liquidators in London said Friday that they've received 63 inquiries from parties interested in buying all or part of the failed sportswear retailer. Mick McLoughlin, a partner at KPMG Corporate Recovery in London, the firm appointed to oversee the liquidation procedure for, says he is "very hopeful" that the outfit will be sold, perhaps as early as next week., a six-month-old retailer that had operated in 18 countries, shut down Wednesday night for lack of funds.

Let the Games Begin!

Fantasy sports games began in the 1980s as a hobby for avid sports fans. Today, the Internet has transformed it into big - potentially huge - business.