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NEWS CORP./MCI ALLIANCE TO BEGIN ONLINE SERVICE
Published August 9, 1995
News Corp. and MCI Communications will launch a new online service that will combine News Corp.'s Delphi Internet Services Corp. with MCI's internet unit in an effort to compete with America Online, CompuServe, Prodigy and eventually the Microsoft Network. According to this morning's SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS, the new service will reportedly not require customers to use the software it provides but allow subscribers to gain access through any internet provider. MCI announced last May it would invest as much as $2B in News Corp. to "jointly delivering entertainment, information, home shopping and other services" (SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS, 8/9). This morning's AD AGE ONLINE reports that the new service will have a "name the new net" contest, with the contest winner receiving $5,000. Anthea Disney, former editor at TV Guide will become editor and chief of the new service, Scott Kurnit, former President of MCI Information Services Co., will become President/CEO of the new service (AD AGE ONLINE, 8/9). Disney said the service could include sports offerings that leverage Fox's rights to the NFL, including "on-line visits from star quarterbacks and host discussions for arm-chair quarterbacks." The announcement signals that News Corp. "appears to be putting Delphi in MCI's hands and letting MCI take the lead," according to Jared Sandberg n this morning's WALL STREET JOURNAL To enter the name the net contest, users may access: http://www.internetmci.com/ venture (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 8/9). JUSTICE RELENTS: The Justice Department said it will not take anti-trust action against Microsoft before the launch of its Windows '95, but is still "believed to be considering" whether to ask Microsoft to remove software from the program that allows users to enter the upcoming Microsoft Network [MSN] on-line service, according to this morning's WALL STREET JOURNAL. Don Clark reports that the Justice Department's announcement came "just hours" after Microsoft announced its pricing structure for the MSN. MSN will charge $4.95/month for three hours of service and $2.50 for each additional hour, compared with the $9.95/month for four hours charged by CompuServe, Prodigy and America Online (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 8/9).