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Online magazine commerce site The Electronic Newsstand announced a $20 million investment from Madison Dearborn Partners, Chicago.

Internet consulting firm NetResponse, Arlington, Va., has acquired Indigo Group Omnimedia, a multimedia design studio.

Direct marketing company Fingerhut has launched thehut.com, a trendy online store aimed at 18- to 24-year-olds who want to furnish their first living quarters. It's accompanied by a paper catalog, also called thehut, that will reach 600,000 consumers this month.

Online wine merchant Virtual Vineyards has issued a guarantee to secure credit card purchases made over the Internet at its site. While credit card issuers usually limit customer liability to $50 for fraudulent charges, Virtual Vineyards will reimburse the first $50 for any fraudulent charges at its site.

The Centraal Corp., Palo Alto, Calif., revamped its Internet names directory RealNames System by adding categories used commonly on Web sites. It's added more trademarks, a stock ticker, musical artists and films, to name a few.

AT&T WorldNet's recently launched Chat 'N Talk service is expanding to allow up to seven users per session to chat in real-time. The service launched with capabilities for only two users at a time. AT&T Chat 'N Talk is also debuting on Lycos.

eMarketer and ChannelSeven.com have struck a marketing alliance that is designed to create a new network of marketing, advertising and statistical tools for Internet executives. The first joint project between the two will be an in-depth report on U.S. online advertising. eMarketer will also join the ChannelSeven.com's speaker's bureau, and both companies plan an emphasis on the worldwide marketplace.

Copyright August 1998, Crain Communications Inc.

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