The Los Angeles Times and Pacific Telesis Group Inc have scrapped their electronic shopping joint venture, ESS, which was set up in January 1994. The two have not given up on the idea, however, and will develop services seperately (CI No 2,776). Chip Perry, vice-president of strategic alliances at the Times said the major factor behind the disbanding of the project is the Internet. The original project was planned before the Internet became a commercial viability. The service was to entail users calling assistants who would scan an electronic database in search of information. This would then be read, faxed or mailed to the customer. Pacific Telesis was to provide specialist technology, but Perry said the partnership was no longer necessary. We are well equipped to [provide an Internet-based service] on our own, said Perry.