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About.com nixes free e-mail

Online community site About.com has shut its free Web-based e-mail and page-hosting services, the latest causalities of the advertising downturn. The company, owned by Primedia, said its approximately 15,000 e-mail users have been invited to sign up for a new advertising-free e-mail service, WebMail Pro, which will launch Dec. 15 with a $29.95 annual fee. For Web page hosting services, the company is directing customers to ZDNet's Sitebuilder platform, a for-fee service; or Freeservers.com, owned by About.com. ZDNet is a division of CNET Networks, publisher of News.com.

Online community site About.com has shut its free Web-based e-mail and page-hosting services, the latest causalities of the advertising downturn.

The company, owned by Primedia, said its approximately 15,000 e-mail users have been invited to sign up for a new advertising-free e-mail service, WebMail Pro, which will launch Dec. 15 with a $29.95 annual fee. For Web page hosting services, the company is directing customers to ZDNet's Sitebuilder platform, a for-fee service; or Freeservers.com, owned by About.com. ZDNet is a division of CNET Networks, publisher of News.com.