Springer out of online venture

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German publisher Axel Springer, Hamburg, is pulling out of Europe Online, a new online service whose startup date has already been postponed from fall 1995 to spring 1996. Springer signed a letter of intent in August to take a 10% stake in the Luxembourg-based Europe Online holding company and 21.3% of the German part of the venture, German Europe Online. Another German publisher, Burda, remains one of the main shareholders with a 24.5% stake, but two others, the U.K.'s Pearson, publisher of The Financial Times, and France's Matra Hachette, are reducing their shareholdings. An Axel Springer executive said the company would rather be a content provider than a co-owner of Europe Online.

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