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November 1, 1995

DETEMEDIEN THROWS IN THE TOWEL AND GIVES UP TRYING TO PREVENT COMPETING TELEPHONE BOOKS ON CD-ROM

By CBR Staff Writer

After a number of skirmishes before the courts, the DeTeMedien subsidiary of Deutsche Telekom AG has given up trying to prevent other providers from developing telephone books on CD-ROM. The rival, Mannheim-based Topware AG, came out this summer with a real whopper: all 117 telephone books on one CD-ROM for $28. DeTeMedien is hardly a bargain. Its collection of three disks costs $1,052 and that’s without an update. Last June, DeTeMedien complained to the Frankfurt district court that Topware had merely copied its own CD package. Topware executives responded by proving the product was their own creation. The court threw the case out and Topware was free to market its product. Heavy demand for the product, called D-Info, has prompted Topware to plan another release in early January. The new version will enable users to call up numbers according to industry sector. It is also in the process of closing deals with partner companies to release CD telephone books for countries outside Germany: the UK, the US and Canada are suggested.

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