PointCast lays off one-third of its staff

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Internet broadcast company PointCast, Sunnyvale, Calif., laid off one-third of its staff, or about 80 employees, April 1. A spokeswoman confirmed the layoffs and said they came after talks with a group of companies, including telephone companies, fell through to acquire PointCast and launch a consumer high-speed Internet access network. PointCast sources said the consortium included Bell South, U S West, Bell Canada and Microsoft Corp.

The spokeswoman declined comment on severance packages for employees and said, until about a week ago, PointCast was operating under terms that prohibited it from talking to other potential acquisition partners. PointCast, which has 1.2 million unique users, will continue to operate with scaled down plans, the spokeswoman said, adding that the company is looking to attract between $15 million and $20 million, either through financing or a buyout.

Copyright April 1999, Crain Communications Inc.

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