Lycos Europe is going to launch a free e-mail service offering 1GB of space just like Google they said yesterday. At first it will be introduced in the UK, and later in other European countries.
Lycos Europe will charge British users £3.49 ($6.15) per month for an ad-free e-mail service. The soon-to-be-public Google will offer a free service supported by advertisers who will be able to target users with promotional messages based on their e-mail conversations.
Google's Gmail service has come under fire from various consumer rights watchdogs that maintain targeting ads in this manner constitutes a breach of a user's privacy.
Lycos Europe intends to put the Gmail controversy to good use, promoting its rival service as ad-free. "The research we have done shows that privacy and security is incredibly important to consumers," said Alex Kovach, VP for Lycos Europe's portal and communications business.
The loss-making Lycos Europe is aiming to double subscription revenues by offering a host of services ranging from online dating to Web site hosting. Currently, the company's annual subscription revenue is in the millions of euros range, Kovach said.