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The big boys are muscling in on the Internet access business in a big way, and having wrapped up acquisition of Unipalm Group Plc, Fairfax, Virginia-based UUNet Technologies Inc – where Microsoft Corp has an undisclosed stake – has agreed to acquire a 40% stake in EUnet Germany GmbH for $1.6m to $5.4m, with the final price depending on how much control UUNet will have in the management of EUnet Germany. The lowly price strongly suggests that the Germans have not yet woken up to the prices being paid for Internet access providers now command – 85% of EUnet GB went to Performance Systems International Inc for about $3.75m – but that was way back in June, before the Netscape Communications Corp flotation and stratospheric valuations on all things Internet. But equally noteworthy is that after the deal, the only other shareholder in EUnet Germany will be Communications Network International GmbH, the Mannesmann AG-led telecommunications services company in which AT&T Corp and Unisource NV are joining forces to take 40%. EUnet Germany is described as a leading provider of Internet access, applications and consulting services in Germany. UUNet is buying the shares held by Gesellschaft fr Mehrwertdienste mbH and the German Unix Users Group. It has 30 points of presence; nine-month sales were $6.1m.

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