BBC Worldwide to close Beeb Ventures

LONDON - BBC Worldwide is pulling the plug on its joint venture e-commerce division Beeb Ventures, parent of Beeb.com.

BBC Worldwide's online retail portal Beeb.com will be integrated into BBC Worldwide, but only the websites of Radio Times and Top Gear magazines will retain their e-commerce capabilities.

Other magazines based at Beeb.com, such as Top of the Pops, Good Homes and Gardener's World, will become marketing sites for their original print products.

The reorganisation will affect 38 Beeb Ventures staff, who will be helped to find employment within BBC Worldwide or the BBC's public service division.

Beeb Ventures was created in August 2000 when US-based technology investor THLee Putnam Ventures took a stake in BBC Worldwide's e-commerce product Beeb.com.

THLee will receive the balance of its investment that has not already been spent and it will retain its ongoing financial interest in the rights previously held by Beeb Ventures.

BBC Worldwide's ISP Beeb.net will be unaffected.

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