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November 3, 1995


By CBR Staff Writer

Financial Times Information, part of the Financial Times Group owned by Pearson Plc has launched FT Discovery, an on-line business information service that it calls an aid to executive thinking. Designed specifically for the business end user, the core system includes five modules, company, country, business sector, legislation and business news. FT Discovery gives basic access to business information either from the Financial Times Group sources: FT Extel, FT McCarthy, FT Mergers & Acquisitions, or other sources, such as Jordan & Sons Ltd for company information, stock broker information from ICC Online Ltd, business news from Information Access Company Ltd’s IAC Prompt, as appropriate. Access is designed to be as simple and flexible as possible to provide basic information instantly, such as a company’s profit and loss, its products, stock details about the market sector it occupies, economic and legislative information about countries, and business articles about a chosen subject. Hypertext links are used to lead the user from one module to another. To add to the core system, there are six additional modules available: Business News Plus, business information by company and country accessing the FT Mcarthy and IAC Prompt database; Company Information Plus, ratio information on 170,000 unlisted limited companies from Jordan & Sons; Company Research, full stockbroker company and industry reports from ICC; Company Research, country assessment reports from Marketline; and Newswires, real time international news from AFX and UK news from Extel Examiner and the Regulatory News Service, which can be customised to alert the user to relevant news items as they appear. The service is provided on a fixed price basis, giving unlimited monthly usage, but Financial Times Information is firmly targetting the networked corporate user, and although the price for the core system is ú100 per user per month, there is a minimum fee of four users per billing address, or ú400 per month. The minimum user restriction also applies to three of the six additional modules, Business News Plus – ú50 per user, Company Information Plus – ú50 per user, and Company Research – ú10 per user. Country Research costs ú50 per month, Market Research ú25 per report, and Newswires are ú15 per month UK and ú15 international. The FT Discovery access software runs under Windows and Windows95, and the service can be accessed by direct telephone dial-up or via the Internet. It is available now in the UK, and it will be launched in Europe in the first half of next year, and worldwide by the end of 1996.

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