AOL, Yahoo battle to provide Indian Internet access

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BOMBAY--Internet heavyweights America Online and Yahoo! are separately negotiating with New Delhi-based B.K. Modi Group to forge an Internet service provider joint venture in India, reports Business Standard newspaper.

Modi will offer its partner 49 percent in the planned $200 million ISP project. "Our aim is to provide subscribers with national and international access for which an international partner is necessary," B.K. Modi told the daily. India on Nov. 7 threw open Internet access to private competition, removing a three-year government monopoly.

Videsh Sanchar Nigam, the Bombay-based, state-run telecom monopoly, has 150,000 subscribers for its Internet service. According to research by International Data Corp., India has a total 570,000 Internet users, which will increase fivefold to 2.5 million in four years.

Copyright November 1998, Crain Communications Inc.

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