Thomson acquires Prodigy's classifieds

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Thomson Newspapers, Stamford, Conn., acquired Prodigy Services Corp.'s online classifieds division for an undisclosed amount and plans to run the service as a separate business unit of Thomson Newspapers. Prodigy began planning to sell off the online classifieds division earlier this year to raise capital prior to a management-led restructuring that led to International Wireless, Cambridge, Mass., buying the online services company in May from co-owners IBM Corp. and Sears, Roebuck, & Co.

Prodigy's online classifieds technology was licensed to online newspapers including The Houston Chronicle and Times Mirror's Newsday as well as to Canada's Southam Newspapers which publishes more than a dozen news publications.

Online newspaper classifieds is a booming business. AdOne Classifieds, New York, as well as Electric Classifieds, San Francisco, and Careerpath are all angling for pieces of this market by syndicating or aggregating different types of classifieds for national or local audiences. Thomson plans to license classified software to newspapers that want to maintain their own classifieds areas or host and maintain classifieds for interested newspapers.

Copyright December 1996, Crain Communications Inc.

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