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AOL and AAPT have a smart chat

Share trading in telecommunications giant AAPT was halted last week after the company revealed it is in discussions with AOL "concerning AOL Australia".

In a statement to the Australian Stock Exchange, AAPT company secretary Anil Sharma said the discussions have not yet been concluded.

"In particular, the pricing and timing of any transaction which might result from these discussions have not been finalised," the statement read.

Last week, AOL said it would buy German media company Bertelsmann's 50 per cent stake in AOL Australia and AOL Europe in a stock deal believed to be worth between $6.5 billion and $8.25 billion.

Representatives from AAPT and AOL would not comment on the discussions.www.aol.com.auSCO reorganises, issues profit warningThe Santa Cruz Operation (SCO) warned investors last week that sales will be below analysts' estimates for its second quarter ended March 31.

A reorganisation aims to increase investment in the company's Tarantella software and in Linux as well as reduce expenses in SCO's core Unix server business.

The California-based company expects to report "significant losses" after reorganisation costs.

SCO is blaming Y2K-related delays "and other effects" for the shortfall, according to a statement.

It will be restructured into three divisions: server, Tarantella and professional services. www.sco.com.auDot-coms show the green light Four of Australia's largest Internet companies have pooled $1 million worth of resources to set up a Web site not expected to make any money.

Located at www.takethenextstep.com, the site serves as an environmental education portal designed to encourage Web users to join Greenpeace, WWF, Clean Up Australia and other environmental groups.

According to the nonprofit site's founder and voluntary project manager, Mark Braithwaite, Take the Next Step has attracted close to one million hits and has been responsible for 250 Australian sign-ups with environmental organisations since its launch two weeks ago.

However, the ambitions of the site are far greater. Braithwaite outlined a two-year goal for the site to generate one million memberships, including 20,000 from Australia.

The mission statement of the Web site is to "convince the world's 200 million Internet users that the environment is their responsibility", he said.


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