is a free weekly news report covering the main developments in the European online markets.

December 8 - 14: As Christmas looms Finland looks to launch third-generation mobile telephony. Bertelsmann, post the AOL takeover of Netscape, continues to grow rapidly in the online world. In the UK Prime Minister, Tony Blair, is looking for an e-envoy or special representative on the digital economy with the objective of British dominance. Half of all online purchases are still from the US, according to a Dutch report, and six out of ten Spanish companies want to be online. See you next week.

ISPs start own Hotline
Austrian Provider Association finally starts its own hotline for the reporting of illegal online content.

Five months after the Vienna-based 'Institute for the Renunciation of Force' established the country's first private online hotline (Mediapark) for reporting illegal content on the Internet (Europemedia, 13 July 1998), the Austrian Association of Internet Providers (ISPA) on 1 December has established its own reporting service.

Renault crashes with Auto5
Car manufacturer takes car classifieds company to court

The car manufacturer Renault has filed a lawsuit against Groupe Intelligence Industrielle (GII), the company behind Auto5. Auto5 is the French equivalent of AutobyTel and has attained considerable success since its existence on the web.

Swiss propose conference on Internet racism
Switzerland wants to organise an international conference on how to stop racists using the Internet to spread their views.

Thomas Borer, who headed the Swiss delegation to a Washington conference on Holocaust-era assets, said that last year the Swiss police had already identified 700 web sites carrying racist and anti-Semitic material.

Third-generation mobile phones first in Finland
Finland intends to be the first country in the world to grant licenses to operate third-generation broadband mobile networks.

According to the Ministry of Transport and Communications, applications for licenses will be available in the coming weeks. The ministry will grant licenses to four telecommunications operators.

Most Spanish companies intend to sell products in 1999
The possibility to expand their market is the main stimulus for Spanish companies to go online, according to a study of electronic commerce in Spain carried out by the Spanish Association of Electronic Commerce (AECE). Six out of ten consulted companies indicated that the main reason for their presence on the Internet is to expand their market and, in this sense, most of them have considered selling via the Internet.

Bertelsmann with multi-product strategy
SAP starts online business magazine

The online market is still changing. Since the America Online (AOL) takeover of Netscape, Bertelsmann has improved its online-market position. In an interview in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Bernd Shiphorst, Bertelsmann Multimedia board-member, announced that Bertelsmann wants to establish different brands against competition from former state-owned telcos.

Dutch shop online for HFL 84 million
Half of all online purchases are made from US stores Total online purchases made by Dutch Internet users will reach HFL 84 million this year. This was reported by the research agency Blauw New Media Consulting. This means that this year the Dutch are buying six times as much online as in 1997. The rise is caused both by a growth in Internet uers as well as an increase in the actual number of purchases per person. Most Dutch online shops co-operated with the reseachers and 3,000 Dutch consumers were consulted by telephone and online.

UK to get E-Envoy
PM wants UK to lead e-commerce around the world

The following job ad was posted on the website of the department of trade and industry: 'An outstanding individual is sought to become the UK's first Special Representative on the Digital Economy', a position announced by the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry on 25 November 1998. The position will also be known as the UK's e-envoy.


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