Italy's Jumpy seeks to launch portals in leading Euro markets

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ROME--Italian Internet company Jumpy, owned by the holding company controlled by billionaire media mogul Silvio Berlusconi, is planning to launch portals in leading European markets.

Jumpy will roll out Jumpy Espana in Spain by mid-May. A German portal is expected to launch by the end of the year and a French counterpart by early 2001.

"Every market is increasingly well defined, and our goal is to find a certain part of each market and not a dominant share of any one market," Jumpy CEO Claudio Sposito says.

The content for the portals is expected to come in part from Mondadori, a publishing company also controlled by Mr. Berlusconi.

Jumpy differs from some other players in the market because of its focus on the latest technologies, says Mr. Sposito. Plans are in the works to launch a WAP (Wireless Application Protocol) portal by year's end -- meaning that Jumpy could be accessed by some cellular phones and by cellular-enabled palm-sized mobile computers. The company also plans a platform for stock trading via its portals.

In addition, the company is seeking to be a leading player in the high-speed UMTS (Universal Mobile Telecommunications System) business.

"These technologies are somewhat marginal now, but will become [in-creasingly] important," says Mr. Sposito. "Our early interest will pay dividends later."

Copyright April 2000, Crain Communications Inc.

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