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MindSpring buys Delphi customers

In the latest example of consolidation among ISPs, MindSpring will acquire the dial-up Net subscribers of Delphi Internet Services.

In the latest example of consolidation among Internet service providers, national ISP MindSpring (MSPG) said today it would acquire the dial-up Net subscribers of Delphi Internet Services.

It marks MindSpring's 14th such acquisition this year, company executives said.

Delphi's customer base of 1,100 subscribers is expected to switch to MindSpring this month.

Delphi will continue to offer its online forums and community services on the Net, along with a proprietary text-based online service. "We will continue to offer them the Delphi community," the company said

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Last month, Gartner Group released a study predicting that in five years, as many as 90 percent of 4,500 ISPs in the United States will be gone, leaving 400 to 500. The group cited increased competition and what it called user demands for upgraded "performance-guaranteed" services.

Today's announcement comes in the wake of a much bigger deal: America Online's acquisition of the consumer subscribers to Compuserve. (See related story) As reported, this deal is being reviewed by the Justice Department.