IPC considers joining free internet crowd

- UK consumer magazine publisher IPC is understood to be considering the launch of a free internet access service based around its key magazine brands.

- UK consumer magazine publisher IPC is understood to be considering the launch of a free internet access service based around its key magazine brands.

The news came as IPC yesterday announced plans to invest £25 million in its new internet venture, IPC Electric, which is spearheading the company's investment in new media.

If it were to launch a free internet service IPC would find itself up against rivals including Dixons' Freeserve, News International's CurrantBun, BT and United News & Media's LineOne and Trinity Mirror Group's IC24.net.

IPC publishes such magazines as the NME, Melody Maker, Loaded. Marie Claire and Country Life. It is expected it would leverage the content of these magazines to attract surfers to any new free internet service.

However, chief executive Mike Matthew declined to say whether the service would definitely go ahead and would only comment that IPC Electric would "exploit entertainment and ecommerce opportunities operating with existing and new websites and build major new internet businesses".



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