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America Online class action suit refiled

A class action suit against America Online has been refiled in a U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia. Attorneys acting on behalf of content providers, advertisers, electronic commerce users and others filed a consolidated and amended class action complaint on Jan. 26.

Last year, attorneys throughout the U.S. filed class action suits on behalf of clients claiming lost business and revenue because AOL's networks became severely jammed when it began offering $19.95 per month unlimited service.

Meanwhile, attorneys general from several states also filed law suits on behalf of their constituents and eventually reached a settlement with AOL. A federal judge had put a hold on the attorney-driven class action suits until the attorneys generals' case was legally settled. However, that stay expired on Dec. 1,. and the class-action suits were reactivated.

Ad auction system launches

A new ad selling start-up, Adauction, launched today, filling the competitive void left by Adbot, which shut down in December.

The new company (www.adauction.com) plans to hold monthly auctions of sites' excess ad inventory. The first sale will be conducted Feb. 19 and will feature the company's real-time auction software. Sites signed up for the first auction include Silicon Investors, Internet Travel Network and Student Advantage. Minimum cost-per-thousand rates will be set around $5, Mr. Wamsley said.

Nielsen to track TV viewing on PCs

Nielsen Media Research last week unveiled a new tracking system, designed to work with Microsoft Corp.'s Windows 98 software, which enables Nielsen to measure in its sample homes whether users are computing or watching TV on their PCs, and track which Web sites they visit.

In other news

California and 10 other states are jointly investigating Microsoft Corp.'s plan to incorporate Internet Explorer into Windows 98. . . . America Online last week completed its purchase of CompuServe Corp.'s worldwide online services.

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