Harris Interactive, Inc. Drops Federal Claims Against America Online, Inc. (AOL)
ROCHESTER, N.Y., August 8, 2000-- Harris Interactive (Nasdaq: HPOL), the global leader in online market research, today announced that all federal claims against America Online, Inc. (AOL), in conjunction with its July 31, 2000, lawsuit have been dropped. The suit contends Harris Interactive's name was unfairly and arbitrarily placed onto Mail Abuse Prevention System, LLC (MAPS) Realtime Blackhole List (RBL), a list of companies accused of electronic mail abuse. MAPS' action prompted the named ISP's to block Harris Interactive from corresponding with many of its registered subscribers.
Since legal proceedings have commenced, Harris Interactive has been in communication with AOL and, as a result, Harris Interactive has voluntarily agreed to drop AOL as a defendant in the litigation. Contrary to our earlier release, Harris Interactive's dropping of AOL from the litigation is not contingent upon any agreement between AOL and Harris Interactive regarding the delivery of Harris Interactive's e-mail to its 1.3 million AOL members; however, Harris Interactive believes that it is now able to fully communicate with all of its registered respondents who have AOL e-mail addresses.
Stated Gordon S. Black, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Harris Interactive, ``We are pleased with AOL's action and their swift understanding of the magnitude of this issue. 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.''
``As a leader in support of online privacy initiatives,'' continued Dr. Black, ``Harris Interactive is concerned about maintaining fair and consistent Internet access across the Web. Through AOL's actions, it's apparent that they share in this common concern. Self-appointed groups such as MAPS, cannot continue to dictate the standards that affect hundreds of millions of people and billions of dollars of commerce.''