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February 21, 1999


By CBR Staff Writer

AOL Europe CEO Andreas Schmidt’s statement on Deutsche Telecom AG (see related story) may have contained a thinly-veiled attempt to protect AOL (UK) from attacks by free ISPs in the UK. Comparing the successes of European and US e-commerce Schmidt said: The EU has an historic opportunity to build an information-based economy… [but] this will only happen if Europe takes action now to eliminate high local call prices and per minute charging for customers. The free ISPs that threaten to steal AOL UKÆs paying subscribers make their money, of course, from taking a percentage of per-minute local call charges. After a 6m pound ad campaign, AOL UKÆs subscriber base has risen just 10% since October, a growth rate only half of that in 1997, so scrapped local call charges would be good news for the company.

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