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Mercury Center drops charges

The online edition of the San Jose Mercury News says it will no longer charge a fee to subscribers.

Mercury Center, the online edition of the San Jose Mercury News, said today that it will no longer charge a fee to subscribers.

Mercury Center previously charged $4.95 per month for nonsubscribers to the print newspaper and $2.95 for Mercury News subscribers. The pricing switch comes as some publications, such as Slate and Business Week, are starting to charge for their online information.

Mercury Center executives expect today's announcement to expand its audience, both in the United States and internationally. The site was launched in 1993 on America Online.

Mercury Center in recent months has redesigned its site, added features, and entered into partnerships with the Motley Fool investment site; Nikkei BP BizTech, a subsidiary of Japan's leading technology and business publisher; and San Francisco CBS television affiliate KPIX.