LineOne was launched
in March 1997 as a joint venture between British Telecom and Rupert
Murdoch's News International, placing emphasis on its role as a
content provider. In March 1998 United News & Media bought a 33%
stake in the venture for an undisclosed amount. In March 1999, News
International sold out of LineOne to concentrate on its in-house
Internet strategy, leaving BT and United News with 50% each.
LineOne has 1.4
million registered subscribers and gets 70 million page hits a month.
LineOne is now up for sale and analysts estimate that LineOne is
worth about £340 million ($490 million).
was in the limelight in early 2000 when its customers were deprived
of the unmetered internet access service with telco Quip after just
four months. The ISP is targeting busy 30 to 45 year-olds with content-rich
access to the Internet. LineOne's chief executive Andy Harwood left
in November 2000 to join e-marketing startup, eVerger.
that LineOne is seen by its two owners as being too small to survive
on its own. The decision to put their unprofitable Internet joint
venture up for sale comes at a time when both companies want to
focus on their other businesses also.