Internet search engine
is terminating a service offering consumers free Internet access because
, its affiliate company that had provided the service, is going out of business.
According to published reports, AltaVista has told its 3 million free Internet subscribers that the service will be terminated on Dec. 10, and has made arrangements for them to transfer to
MSN Internet service, which will offer a free connection for three months. After that, they would pay $21.95 a month.
1stUp and AltaVista are divisions of
, Andover, Mass., which announced last month it would close 1stUp by Jan. 31, along with some of its other holdings.
Today's news hit AltaVista's competitor
, whose shares lately tumbled 12.9%, or 25 cents, to $1.69 on the
. Shares of CMGI were also down 4.6%, or 56 cents, to $11.75.