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FreeEdgar's E-mail Alerts Now Include a Cost

February 12, 2001

FreeEdgar 's free e-mail alerts about Securities and Exchange Commission documents are proving a bit too popular and costly.

As of today, users who want to use the service to track SEC filings with e-mail alerts about any more than 10 companies will be asked to pay a monthly charge that starts at $9.95.

Jay Sears, senior vice president with parent company EdgarOnline, Inc. ( NASDAQ:EDGR ), said too many registered users were using the service for commercial purposes. "It got to the point where people were tracking hundreds or perhaps thousands of companies" on their watch lists, he said. "We thought it reasonable to ask them to pay $9.95 a month."

Apparently, most of the 100,000 or so watch list users tend to work at investment banks or law firms. Because of their professional backgrounds, the company thinks most of the users might consider paying a monthly fee.

"FreeEdgar is still free. We're beginning to charge our heaviest users" on the watch list, Sears said.

The company is also looking at those users and thinking of the possibilities of new subscribers.

Within the past couple of years, EdgarOnline's business model has been shifting away from the advertising-driven, consumer-facing model to more business-to-business contracts. Now, about 70 percent of the company's revenues come from corporate contracts for enterprise data.

And with the new pitch asking customers to pay more of their share of alerts, the company is looking to diversify its revenue stream that much more.

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