Found at ""

August 8, 2000 1:55pm, ZDII Home Page.

Harris drops lawsuit against AOL

NEW YORK, Aug 8 (Reuters) - Online market research firm Harris Interactive Inc. said on Tuesday it dropped its lawsuit against America Online Inc. after the top Internet services provider restored Harris's ability to communicate with users who want to participate in its surveys.

To achieve this, AOL changed its Internet Service Provider (ISP) from to another ISP that is not affiliated with an e-mail service maintained by Mail Abuse Prevention System LLC (MAPS), Harris said. MAPS, a not-for-profit company based in Redwood City, Calif., helps Internet services firms block unwanted mass e-mail, commonly known as "spam," from reaching their subscribers.

"We are pleased with AOL's action and their swift understanding of the magnitude of this issue," Harris chief executive Gordon Black said in a statement. "Today marks a major first step in our effort to ensure full protection against unfair and undemocratic practices that can emerge as a result of self-regulation by organizations such as MAPS."

Harris said it is still seeking injunctive relief and "significant" monetary damages from Microsoft Network's HotMail, Qwest Communications International Inc., MAPS, and others.

In the suit, which was filed last month in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of New York, Harris accuses the Internet service providers of blocking access to about 2.7 million of Harris's more than 6.6 million panel members.

((--Mark Weinraub, New York Equities desk 212-859-1700))