AT&T Buys U.K.'s planet internet

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BRUSSELS -- American telecoms giant AT&T has bought a British Internet provider owned by Dutch telecoms group KPN in order to boost its links with home, rather than business, users in the U.K.

Planet Internet U.K., active since last November, has been rebranded as an AT&T internet service provider. It will continue to offer a full range of home applications, including e-mail and online entertainment. But it will also become the springboard for the launch in the U.K. of AT&T's America Online business service called World Net, according to a source in the U.K. operation.

KPN confirms that the sale of the U.K. operation to AT&T has taken place, but the U.S. group declined to comment. The deal is not thought to affect Planet Internet in Holland, or the fledgling Planet Internet that is poised to launch in Belgium.

AT&T already works with the Dutch company through a partnership deal with the Unisource group of companies, to which KPN belongs. But the AT&T/Unisource joint initiatives only target business users.

Copyright November 1996, Crain Communications Inc.

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