French internet company, Liberty Surf Group, has acquired the UK's first free internet access company, the X-Stream Network, in a deal which values the company at $75.35 million.
Liberty Surf was founded in April 1999 by a group of shareholders including Kingfisher, the UK retailer, and Europ@web, a group created by Bernard Arnault, chairman of LVMH, to invest in online ventures.
Liberty Surf currently offers internet users in France free internet access, French-language internet content and services including free e-mail. The X-Stream Network, launched in March 1998, and was the UK's first free ISP launching six months before Freeserve. It has recently launched its services in Norway, Denmark, Sweden and the Netherlands.