AOL buys chat company

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America Online expanded its portfolio of Web services June 8 when it purchased Mirabilis, which makes ICQ instant communications and chat technology.

AOL paid $287 million in cash to purchase the assets of the company, which will continue to be based in Tel Aviv.

ICQ, is a free application that lives on the desktop and allows users to chat in real-time, play games and exchange files. The move will also help AOL expand its presence overseas. About 60% of ICQ's users are outside the U.S.

Copyright June 1998, Crain Communications Inc.

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