Geert Lovink on Tue, 22 Dec 1998 15:07:32 +0100 (CET)

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<nettime> Dutch Telecom KPN takes over xs4all

Press Release
Diemen, 17 December 1998 

XS4ALL to become independent subsidiary of KPN Telecom

XS4ALL has been taken over by KPN Telecom. Agreement was reached today on
the transfer of all shares. XS4ALL will be an independent subsidiary of
KPN Telecom and will not become part of the KPN Telecom organisation. This
agreement is unique because XS4ALL will maintain all its operational
freedom and social involvement. 

XS4ALL and KPN are highly complementary. The take-over enables XS4ALL to
supply innovative Internet products to its demanding users. By taking over
XS4ALL, KPN gains access to the top level segment of the Internet user
market. This gives KPN the opportunity to introduce new products into the

XS4ALL and KPN Telecom together are preparing the introduction of
high-bandwidth Internet access, Internet telephony and E-commerce
applications. This enables XS4ALL to expand its position as high-quality
Internet Service Provider. For XS4ALL users, the take-over will not have
any negative effects; access numbers and email addresses remain unchanged. 
XS4ALL is not merging with other KPN Internet services. XS4ALL will
continue to use its own technical facilities. 

XS4ALL will also continue to express its independent, critical view in the
social debate on the Internet. XS4ALL was one of the founders of the Dutch
Association of Internet Service Providers (NLIP) and was also involved in
the the creation of the Internet hotline against child pornography.
XS4ALL's critical stance has resulted in conflicts with the Scientology
Church, the German authorities (because of the Radikal periodical) and a
court case on taps. The approach and involvement of XS4ALL in all such
matters will remain unchanged after the take-over. 

The management team of XS4ALL has full operational freedom. Wilbert
Stikkelbroeck stays on as General Director of XS4ALL. He succeeded Felipe
Rodriquez as director in August 1997. XS4ALL will have a Board of
Commissioners, with Felipe Rodriquez as one of its members.  Other members
will include a representative of KPN Telecom and a third person, still to
be decided on. 

This confirms and guarantees the independent position of XS4ALL within
KPN. For some time, XS4ALL has been looking for opportunities to
safeguard the company's position as a technological leader. The Dutch
market for Internet access is changing rapidly. Mergers and take-overs are
creating scale increases and price wars. New forms of high-bandwidth
access to the Internet are replacing traditional modem access, in
particular in those market sectors where XS4ALL operates. To maintain its
position as a high-quality ISP, XS4ALL has been searching for new
technologies and services. XS4ALL has looked for a company with added

At the same time, it set the condition that the position of XS4ALL as a
socially involved company should be preserved. KPN has shown that it was
best suited to satisfy the needs of XS4ALL. 

As a result of the take-over, KPN Telecom has obtained 100% of the shares
of XS4ALL Internet BV in Diemen (The Netherlands) and XS4ALL Internet NV
in Gent (Belgium). All employees will remain with XS4ALL, on the basis of
their current labour contracts. There will be no redundancies as a result
of the take-over. XS4ALL will continue to provide its services using their
present staff. 

XS4ALL was established in 1993 as the first Internet Service Provider for
the general public. Today, XS4ALL is the second-largest ISP in the
Netherlands, with over 50,000 subscribers. XS4ALL is particularly well
represented in the top level segment of the home user market sector and
the lower and middle segments of the business market. Expected turnover
for 1998 is NLG 20 million. XS4ALL has nearly 100 employees, whose average
age is 28. XS4ALL has its own infrastructure and dial-in network.  For a
year now, the national POP with modems has been installed in a KPN
telephone exchange. 

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