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August 20, 1996


By CBR Staff Writer

Hackensack, New Jersey-based IDT Corp said yesterday that it has bought the Genie Online Service from Yovelle Renaissance Corp for an undisclosed sum – all of which sounds a bit odd given that Yovelle was a vehicle formed for the purpose of buying the forgotten on-line bulletin board service from General Electric Co Inc’s GE Information Services, and that IDT was said at the time to be associated with Yovelle (CI No 2,838). But it appears that since the original announcement, IDT, Renaissance and General Electric have all been squabbling. Genie provides multi-player gaming, interactive chat and bulletin board services for 20,000 customers in the US, and IDT, Internet access and telephone service provider, gets rights to the Genie names and over 100Gb of content. The content will be incorporated into IDT’s recently-introduced Genie Interactive service, a new on-line service optimistically designed to compete with America Online Inc and CompuServe Corp. Genie Interactive offers unlimited access to its content for a flat fee. IDT gets long-term access to the General Electric Information Services technical infrastructure to support the on-line service. Genie on-line service currently has 20 employees in its Rockville, Maryland facility and has over 60 system operators moderating discussion groups and adding to its special interest bulletin board services. The new Genie Interactive service will be run from IDT’s Hackensack headquarters. IDT says that the deal, terms of which were not disclosed, amicably settles all the nastiness between the parties.

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