UK Web-based “corner shops” are to be targeted with the launch of a 49 version of merchandising software package Shop@ssistant, unveiled this week at the Electronic Commerce Show. The package, marketed by the Floyd Consultancy, is a simplified version of its existing 200 Shop@ssistant package. The company has so far sold merchandising systems to 400 clients, mainly in the UK. Existing clients include VisionExpress, JD Sports and Sports Division.

TSMSi, the Internet ad sales house, has signed a reciprocal deal with German new media sales house One & One to cross-sell Website inventory to advertisers. One & One handles a portfolio of 44 sites, generating 20 million page impressions a month. Victor Synott, sales director at TSMSi, says: “It’s vitally important for our advertisers and clients that TSMSi has a credible and solid international perspective.” has appointed ad agency FCB/Wilkins Technics to help promote the launch of the online bookseller in the German market. The appointment follows German media group Bertelsmann’s $200m (125m) agreement to acquire a 50 per cent stake in US online bookseller Barnesand, the online spin-off of Barnes & Noble.

The US Senate has passed a bill to ban the imposition of any additional state or local taxes on the Internet for the next three years. The Internet Tax Freedom Act will run alongside a federal review, which will aim to draw up recommendations for taxation on Internet access and electronic commerce.

Lycos, the US-based new media group, is spending $83m (50m) to acquire Wired Digital, owners of the Wired, HotBot, and online brands. Magazine title Wired, taken over by Condé Nast earlier this year, is not part of the deal.

Mecklermedia, the US publisher and conference company with several major brands centred around the Internet industry, has been sold for $274m (166m) to Penton Media. Mecklermedia owns

DoubleClick, the international new media ad sales house, has launched a French office, headed by Stephane Cordier, formerly of publishing group Ziff-Davis France. DoubleClick France launches with ad sales representation contracts with AltaVista France and Les 3 Suisses…

…meanwhile, AltaVista has closed its European site, AltaVista.Telia. The site was run under licence by Scandinavia Online which has now struck a deal with Compaq, new owners of AltaVista parent Digital, to run the replacement site, Ezreka.

Online Magic has recruited two technical directors. Lesley Haswell, previously head of IT at the Labour Party, will job share the senior position with Maria Tuck, formerly IT manager at the National Magazines Company and The Guardian. Technical director Steve Devo has been promoted to chief technical officer.

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