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AltaVista to end its free e-mail service March 31

February 20, 2002

PALO ALTO, Calif. — AltaVista Co. said Tuesday it will drop its free e-mail service next month as part of its effort to focus on making money from its online search engine.

About 400,000 e-mailboxes maintained by AltaVista will be closed March 31, the company said Tuesday. Only half of those e-mailboxes were actively used, AltaVista said.

The Palo Alto-based company offered free e-mail accounts while trying to develop a multipurpose Web site similar to In late 2000, though, AltaVista switched gears again and concentrated on developing the search engine software that originally made its site a Web favorite.

AltaVista notified its e-mail accountholders of the decision Tuesday to give them ample time to save important messages and line up an alternate service, company officials said.

By Associated Press.


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