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Business 2.0 closes European editions

The magazine folds editions in Germany, Italy and the United Kingdom amid the sluggish advertising market.

    Business 2.0 said Monday that it has folded editions of the magazine in Germany, Italy and the United Kingdom.

    The Future Network, the parent company of Business 2.0 publisher Imagine Media, said the closures result from the sluggish advertising market, which has adversely affected the magazine in Europe.

    The German edition of Business 2.0 posted a notice on its Web site, saying The Future Network has been undergoing massive financial problems and the June edition of the business magazine will be the last. The U.K. edition began redirecting readers to the publication's main Web site.

    A Business 2.0 representative in the United States confirmed the closures Monday.

    Publishers worldwide are suffering from an economic downturn that has seen companies tighten their marketing and advertising budgets. Some publications, such as Salon.com and The Industry Standard, have undergone substantive layoffs, but others have taken more drastic measures. Last month, Automatic Media, publisher of Web 'zines Feed and Suck.com, shut down because it was unable to capture funding.

    Business 2.0, which provides news on the business landscape of the New Economy, and its U.K.-based parent company also have been hit hard in the economic storm. The magazine agreed to a buyout by AOL Time Warner last month and laid off a handful of staff members. The Future Network, which publishes 134 titles, also announced earlier this year that it would cut 350 jobs and close some publications.

    The Future Network said that the U.S. edition of Business 2.0 is not affected by the closure of the European editions. The company added that the costs of closing the U.K. and Italian editions of Business 2.0 are estimated to be about $1.42 million (1 million pounds). Figures relating to the German edition were unavailable.

    "We naturally regret having to make these closures," Greg Ingham, chief executive of The Future Network, said in a statement. "During the tough market conditions being experienced, we intend to reduce risk in the business by concentrating on...profitable business areas."