AltaVista's European edition closes, new site sets up

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LONDON -- AltaVista.Telia, the advertising- supported European edition of U.S. Internet search engine service AltaVista, has shut down.

The site's closure brings to an end the biggest Web site represented by InterAd, the leading European online ad sales operation. However, sources say InterAd is expected to win the account for Ezreka (Swedish for Eureka), the new site replacing AltaVista.Telia.

AltaVista.Telia was run by Swedish-based Scandinavia Online, which had an 18-month license to operate U.S.-based AltaVista's Northern European mirror site. The license agreement expired at the end of September.

Scandinavia Online has since negotiated a new deal with Compaq Computer Corp., which has acquired and absorbed AltaVista's parent company Digital Equipment Corp., the computer manufacturer. The new agreement involves using AltaVista's search engine facilities on Ezreka, the new Web site currently launching in Scandinavia.

The new site will be targeted at online users in Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden. Scandinavia Online expects about 40 million page impressions to the new site during the site's first month.

Copyright October 1998, Crain Communications Inc.

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