Technology

DoubleClick Gets a Clean Bill of Health

Also, Compaq and Yahoo! team up, Expedia.com revamps its Web site, Intel and AMD duke it out, and more.
Joseph RadiganJanuary 23, 2001

In a move that could be a green light for many Internet advertising and marketing companies, The Federal Trade Commission closed its investigation into the data-collection practices of online advertising network DoubleClick. The agency said on Monday that the company had not violated its privacy policy.

The investigation began in February 2000 after the company announced plans to combine consumer information collected online with personally identifiable customer data from Abacus Direct, which it had acquired.

The investigation was launched to determine whether DoubleClick merged sensitive information from its subsidiary in violation of its privacy policy.

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There’s still plenty of attraction between the Old Economy and the New.

Microsoft’s bCentral Web site for small businesses is partnering with a unit of Advance Publications Inc. that publishes 40 local business newspapers around the country, the company said on Monday.

As of Tuesday, bCentral will offer free local business news, customized by zip code, from American City Business Journals. Advance’s Bizjournals.com site will be linked to bCentral.com, and readers will have access to bCentral’s services that help small businesses build Web sites and manage customer relationships online.

As part of the agreement, bizjournals.com will feature national news from MSNBC.com, which will use some articles from bizjournals.com. Microsoft is also acquiring a minority interest in American City Business Journals, although details of the agreement were not disclosed.

Big Blue is giving money away!

IBM is offering rebates of $270 to customers who buy certain models of its xSeries and Netfinity servers with Microsoft’s Windows 2000 operating system.

Compaq Computer landed one of the New Economy’s biggest fish on Monday, when Yahoo! said the Houston computer maker had become its primary provider for servers and computer hardware. Cnet news reported that the multiyear deal could lead to tight marketing and advertising promotions between the two companies

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. But the agreement guarantees Yahoo! a steady, high-profile advertiser at a time when many dot-coms are struggling to drum up advertising dollars.

Under the alliance, Compaq will become Yahoo!’s “preferred” source for servers, storage systems, PCs, laptops, handheld computers and other hardware, according to the companies. Compaq will also provide a substantial portion of the hardware behind Yahoo!’s Internet infrastructure.

In turn, Compaq has committed to advertise and market its products through Yahoo!’s various Web properties. Compaq products will also be given preferred placement on Yahoo’s shopping home page.

Despite the well-publicized troubles at Priceline.com, the Internet travel planning business is hardly finished. For example, Expedia Inc., the online travel service spun off by Microsoft Corp., has redone its Web site, saying the changes will give customers more choices and more control over their travel plans, according to the Associated Press.

The Bellevue, Wash., company developed Expert Searching and Pricing, or ESP, which is built on Microsoft’s Windows NT operating system. Expedia says the platform, which is able to handle massive transaction volumes, is already running for flights and packages, and will soon be available for the entire site.

Customers can choose from an average 400 itinerary combinations for every roundtrip domestic air ticket, and they will be able to match flights and accommodations. The site offers combinations of flights and allows customers to choose their own price, time and airline. The company estimates it spent $30 million in developing and testing ESP.

Almost every year, Advanced Micro Devices and Intel seem to get into a price war, and this year should be no different. TechWeb reports that Intel is expected to begin merchandizing its Pentium 4 processor with an aggressive marketing campaign that will include saturation advertising and price cuts.

Struggling Canadian software maker Corel will reveal its corporate growth strategy on Tuesday, according to ZDnet. Last year, the company received a $135 million bailout from Microsoft, and in return, promised Microsoft that it would support the software giant’s Windows.Net strategy. Corel is expected to reaffirm that agreement along with its commitment to its core packages such as WordPerfect and CorelDraw.

Lucent Technologies, which last year missed its profit targets and fell behind rivals in the key optical networking market, is expected to outline its plan to cut $1 billion in costs and trim jobs as well as post a quarterly loss on Wednesday, Reuters reported.

Wall Street analysts expect Lucent to post a loss of 27 cents a share for the fiscal first quarter ended Dec. 31, and a loss of 22 cents for fiscal 2001, according to research firm First Call/Thomson Financial.

LiveCapital, a supplier of real-time credit and financing software, said it named Eric Dunn, the former senior vice president, CFO and chief technology officer of Intuit, as chairman. The company’s LiveCapital Finance Platform helps businesses arrange financing on line.