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section heading icon     1996 to 2000

This page of the timeline covers -

section marker     1996

399,629 industrial robots in use in Japan, 70,858 in US

Nominet established

US Health Insurance Portability & Accountabilility Act

US Child Pornography Prevention Act

Cisco buys Stratacom for US$4.8bn

Westpac buys Trust Bank of New Zealand

National Library of Australia launches PANDORA project

Novell sells WordPerfect and Quattro Pro to Corel for US$180m

German government sells 26% of Deutsche Telekom for DM20bn

Sprint, Deutsche Telekom and France Telecom joint venture Global One

Fosters buys Mildara Blass

Australia's Seven broadcast network and Kirk Kerkorian takeover MGM/UA

US Supreme Court's Jaffee v Redmond ruling supports confidentiality of psychotherapy

National Mutual Life group demutualises, with AXA SA of France as dominant shareholder

IBM's Deep Blue v Kasparov

Bull's Zenith Data Systems merges with Packard Bell and NEC's North American pc arm

over 3,800 ISPs in US

19% of Australian households have cordless phones

Telstra begins operation in New Zealand

Belgian government sells 49% of Belgacom

Nynex and Bell Atlantic merge to form Verizon

WorldCom buys UUNet and MFS Communications for US$12bn

Apple buys NeXT for US$425m

TRW sells remaining interest in Experian

section marker     1997

Telecommunications Act 1997 deregulates telecoms in Australia

Danish government sells further 30% of Tele Danmark

American Libraries Association v Pataki [US]

Compaq acquires Tandem Computer

Laskey, Jaggard and Brown v United Kingdom [UK]

Travelers, Salomon Brothers and Smith Barney join in US$9bn merger

Cairncross' The Death of Distance

Schement & Curtis' Tendencies & Tensions of the Information Age

Frankel develops Winamp MP3 tool

Strassmann's The Squandered Computer

Amsterdam Treaty

Victoria becomes first Australian jurisdiction with legislation regulating use of a DNA database

EU Distance Selling Directive

Sixdegrees.com founded

David Bowie issues Bowie Bonds

OECD Convention on Combating Bribery of Foreign Public Officials in International Business Transactions

Microsoft invests US$1bn in Comcast

Fitch merges with IBCA

Microsoft buys WebTV for US$503m

Ascend Communications buys Cascade for US$3.7bn

GTE buys BBN, unsuccessfully bids for MCI

Primus buys Axicorp and establishes Primus Australia in competition with Optus and Telstra

Scitor rebranded as Equant

SBC and Pacific Telecommunications merge

IBM's Deeper Blue v Kasparov

section marker     1998

Compaq buys Digital Equipment Corporation

Microsoft buys Hotmail for US$400m

102,000 MBA degrees awarded in the US

WorldCom buys MCI for US$40bn and Brooks Fiber Properties for US$1.2bn

Citigroup formed through US$70bn merger of Travelers Group and Citicorp

Petronas Towers, Kuala Lumpur (1,483 feet)

Sprint buys out TCI, Comcast Corporation and Cox Communications in wireless joint venture Sprint PCS

GTE and Bell Atlantic announce US$53bn merger as Verizon

BT buys MCI's 24.9% interest in Concert

AOL buys Netscape (for US$4.2bn), CompuServe and ICQ

BMC buys Boole & Babbage for US$900m

ICANN created

Sixdegrees.com acquired by YouthStream for US$125m

Vodafone New Zealand buys BellSouth NZ

Ameritech sells its 24.8% in Telecom NZ

Deutsche Telekom and France Telecom establish Wind Telecomunicazioni

Nortel buys Bay Networks for US$9.1bn

Fairfax Financial buys Crum & Forster from Xerox for US$565m

Nortel buys Cambrian Systems

Cisco buys Netspeed

Mannesmann buys tele.ring (Austria)

AMP demutualises, buys Citibank's New Zealand retail banking operations

Westpac buys Bank of Melbourne

AMP pays $920m for UK fund manager Henderson Investors (founded 1934)

Tiscali founded in Sardinia

Seagram buys Polygram

Hewlett-Packard releases first colour Palmtop computer

Prudential founds online bank Egg

Panasonic releases first hand-held DVD player

Equant floated on NYSE

digital mobile phone sales overtake analogue phone sales

Uniform Electronic Evidence Act in Canada

Kelly's New Rules For The New Economy

NY Times site defaced by Hacking For Girliez (HFG) hacktivists

US Digital Millennium Copyright Act

APEC Singapore Declaration for the Asia Pacific Information Infrastructure

est 100 million fax machines deployed worldwide (20 million in US)

WTO Basic Telecommunications Agreement (BTA) comes into force

section marker     1999

WC3 releases Web Content Accessibility Guidelines

transfer of business.com for US$7.5m fires domain name boom

Euro created as EU currency

InfoSeek sold for US$2.5bn

Auto-ID Center established

Fanning founds Napster

AOL buys Frankel's Nullsoft for US$100m

auDA established to manage dot-au TLD

global telecommunication traffic generated by data transmission exceeds traffic generated by voice transmission

150 million internet users worldwide (over 50% in US)

over 4,000 ISPs in EU and 6,700 in US

Finland's mobile phones linked to vending machines

36% of Australian households have cordless phones

first WAP mobile phone advertisement in Finland

Compaq acquires Shopping.com

Coles Myer buys Harris Technology

Tiscali founds Nets SA and ATelecom SA in France

GEC sells Marconi Electronics Systems

BCE spins off most of stake in Nortel for C$73bn

BCE absorbs Teleglobe for C$9.6bn

Seven sells MGM/UA stake

John Doerr says "Believe it or not, the Internet is actually underhyped"

Match.com acquired by Ticketmaster-CitySearch for US$50m

Nortel buys Qtera, Periphonics, Shasta Networks and X-CEL Communications

GEC buys RELTEC and FORE Systems

Alcatel buys Xylan, Packet Engines, Assured Access and Internet Device

Australian Broadcasting Services Amendment (Online Services) Act - aka BSA - reinforces online content regulation

BT and AT&T form Concert joint venture

AAPT buys remaining 50% of connect.com.au

Excite acquired by @Home for US$7.2bn

Telecom New Zealand buys 79% of AAPT

German government sells further stake in Deutsche Telekom for €11bn

Excite@Home pays US$780m for Blue Mountain

Telstra merges New Zealand arm with Saturn to form TelstraSaturn

Australian Electronic Transactions Act

Varian & Shapiro's Information Rules

Lessig's Code & Other Laws Of Cyberspace

RIAA litigation against Napster

Viacom buys CBS

Deutsche Telekom buys One2One.com in UK and Siris in France

Mannesmann buys control of Omnitel and Infostrade (Italy) and Orange (UK)

US$45bn spent on US tv advertising (US$14bn to CBS, ABC and NBC)

Kinetica replaces Australian Bibliographic Network

Yahoo! added to S&P 500 index

Yahoo buys Geocities for US$5bn

Fosters buys Seagram Australia

Cisco buys Pirelli Optical Systems for US$2.1bn

AMP buys NPI (founded 1835)

ICQ claims 40 million members

last Morse transmission from Australian coast station

section marker     2000

'Great Dot-com Crash' of April 2000

EU Electronic Commerce Directive

Vivendi swallows Seagram

CanWest swallows Hollinger's Canadian newspaper chain

Bell Canada spins off Nortel stake to shareholders

DoCoMo buys 42.3% of AOL Japan for US$100m

Canadian Bond Rating Service acquired by S&P

'Digital Agenda' Copyright Act in Australia

Motorola merges with General Instrument Corporation

Marconi buys Bosch Public Networks

Norway's Telenor floated for US$1.7bn

EISA foreshadows $325m bid for Ozemail, then collapses

Vodafone takes control of Mannesmann, sells engineering interests

Spanish telco Telefonica pays £3.5bn for entertainment group Endemol

Australian Privacy Amendment (Private Sector) Act extends privacy regime to parts of non-government sector

Sanger launches Wikipedia

Nortel buys Xros, Dimension Enterprises, Alteon WebSystems, CoreTek and Photonic Technologies

Equant merges with Global One under control of France Telecom

France Telecom buys Orange mobile network in UK

France Telecom forms Radianz joint venture with Reuters

Tiscali buys Datacomm and Nikomm (Germany), CD-Telekomunikace (Czech), LinkLine and Interweb(Belgium), WorldOnline (Netherlands)

ScanSoft buys Omnipage parent Caere

UK government gains US$35bn from auction of five 3G wireless licenses

WC3 releases Authoring Tools Accessibility Guidelines

German government gains €50.2bn from six 3G wireless licences

Telecom NZ moves to 100% of AAPT

VoiceStream buys Aerial Communications for US$5.6bn and Omnipoint for US$7.2bn

Sprint sells stake in GlobalOne for US$1.4bn

US and EU regulators block WorldCom US$115bn merger with Sprint

Alcatel buys Newbridge, Genesys and Innovative Fibers

BCE buys CTV for C$2bn

BCE and Thomson form Bell Globemedia

BHP spins off steel operations

26m mobile phone subscribers in China

ANZ sells most of Grindlays operations

Frankel releases Gnutella

WPP buys Young & Rubicam for US$4.7bn

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version of December 2003
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