Caught in the Net: What happens when the clogs at the telephone company get into a joint venture with two glamorous cutting-edge media companies? You get LineOne, the Internet joint venture of BT, News International and United Newspapers. LineOne is currently pulled off to the side of the infobahn awaiting some sort of digital AA man. But is there anything to salvage? The notion was that British consumers would stampede for an online service featuring topless page three girls from the Sun plus the exciting content of the Daily Express. With only 70,000 subscribers after two years, the service is an also-ran, a minnow next to Dixon's Freeserve (1 million) and NASDAQ-quoted AOL (550,000). Now the LineOne partners are squabbling over what to do next.
Perk watch: Now everyone will be wanting one. DaimlerChrysler has ordered an Airbus 319 with 46 seats to shuttle executives between its two headquarters in Stuttgart and Detroit. Good choice: it's a sweet flying jet. The Germans have ordered it equipped for all the normal business services (phone, fax, e-mail) and passengers will be expected to work. Not all executives are keen. On Lufthansa they turn out the lights and order you to sleep.
Goldman's ambition: The story so far.... Last autumn Goldman were about to become the richest bankers in the world, then the market collapsed and Goldman lost a bundle of money. The float is back on. Perhaps there will be a revival in the country house market after all. Meanwhile, Goldman's new London command bunker is rising. Structural work is nearly complete on the vast new extension behind the Grade I listed modernist black facade of the former Daily Express building, known to generations of hacks as the black glass Lubyanka. The new building will be connected by an air bridge to Goldman's current lair, the granite money factory on the site redeveloped by Goldman behind the preserved Daily Telegraph facade. Goldman now controls a larger frontage on Fleet Street than any press baron ever did.