Excite@Home to pack up in Germany, France and Spain

"We announced (the office closures) to staff this morning; we're still working out the final (redundancy) packages," an Excite@Home spokeswoman in the UK said.

Offices in the UK and Italy will remain open, the spokeswoman added. The company owns 58 per cent of Excite UK in a joint venture with British Telecommunications, and holds 30 per cent of Excite Italia in a separate joint venture with Tiscali.

Also unaffected will be @Home Benelux, Excite@Home's broadband Internet access joint venture with Essent Kabelcom, she said.

The move comes one month after the high-speed Internet access and Web site portal company unveiled plans to cut 380 jobs in an effort to reduce costs. The company had said that while the lay-offs would come in all divisions, its media operations in particular would shrink.

In addition to providing high-speed Internet access in the US, Excite@Home's media operations include Internet portal Excite.com and Blue Mountain Arts, a provider of online greeting cards.

Excite@Home had also announced in January that 250 employees would be let go. Most of those layoffs also came from the Excite@Home's media operations.

The company blamed a weakened Internet advertising environment for the closure of its European offices, a claim Excite@Home also made in a filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission on 19 April. In that filing, Excite@Home said its aim is to reduce costs and to raise at least $US75 million to $US80 million by 30 June, 2001.

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