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July 30, 1997updated 05 Sep 2016 1:04pm

COMPUSERVE TESTS FLAT RATE PREMIUM PRICING

By CBR Staff Writer

CompuServe Corp, in line with its declared intention to move away from the consumer online services market to concentrate more on the corporate market, is experimenting with moving towards flat- rate pricing, but at a much higher level than America Online Inc or the Microsoft Network. The Columbus Ohio subsidiary of H&R Block Inc said it began testing pricing of between $25 and $28 a month with certain users, compared with the usual $10 for five hours, then $3 for each hour after that. The former is more of a corporate model for heavy users; the latter a consumer one for lighter users. The company is reportedly talking to a possible suitor, but it’s unclear whether or not it is AOL. However, other rumors circulating earlier this year has CompuServe exiting the ISP business completely and concentrating on content. That might happen if AOL does buy the company, but seems less and less likely if CompuServe is carrying through its promise to go after the corporate market. Netcom Online Communications Inc last year upped its prices to a flat $25 per month and went after the corporate market.

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