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European Web publishing partners split

Internet.com and VNU are ending a joint venture to co-develop technology news Web sites in Europe, according to Internet.com chief executive Alan Meckler.

Internet.com and Dutch publisher VNU are ending a joint venture to co-develop technology news Web sites in Europe, according to Internet.com chief executive Alan Meckler.

Internet.com, an online news and information resources provider, plans to end the relationship and buy back a controlling stake in the enterprise for undisclosed terms, Meckler said.

"This was a classic case of disconnect between old media and new media," Meckler said in an interview.

VNU representatives could not immediately be reached for comment.

Begun just over a year ago, the joint venture led to the launch of Internet.com-branded Web sites in the United Kingdom, France, Spain, Italy, Belgium and Holland, Meckler said. The sites collectively employ some 20 staffers, all of whom will remain with Internet.com.

Meckler said the Darien, Conn.-based company plans to expand its European and other overseas operations to 27 countries in total. In addition, it is developing local market Web sites in North American cities, including San Francisco, Seattle and New York City.

VNU is one of Europe's largest publishing companies, with properties that include the European print magazines formerly owned by technology publisher Ziff-Davis.

The Dutch company recently launched several independent online ventures, including a wireless Web portal, dubbed Tutch, which was announced in October.