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AOL, Yahoo to Start Charging E-Mail Postage


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AOL, Yahoo to Start Charging E-Mail Postage

February 4, 2006

By Michael Santo

Contributing Writer, RealTechNews

You read correctly, though the system will only be used for companies. They will be charged from 1/4 to 1 cent for each email; the email thus paid for will receive preferential treatment. For example, with AOL the email will go straight to inboxes, and not have to pass through any of the spam filters AOL uses. Messages will also be marked as “AOL Certified E-Mail.” Don’t worry, unpaid-for email will still be delivered, but it won’t get this special treatment.

AOL and Yahoo will be using Goodmail Systems’ processing system to collect the electronic postage and verify the identity of the sender. AOL will be implementing the system in the next two months, while Yahoo will be trying the system out, and has not yet decided how paid vs. unpaid mail will be treated.

But critics of the plan say that the companies risk alienating both their users and the companies that send e-mail. The system will apply not only to mass mailings but also to individual messages like order confirmations from online stores and customized low-fare notices from airlines.

“AOL users will become dissatisfied when they don’t receive the e-mail that they want, and when they complain to the senders, they’ll be told, ‘it’s AOL’s fault,’ ” said Richi Jennings, an analyst at Ferris Research, which specializes in e-mail. Source: The New York Times via News.com

We Say: Oh, oh. This sounds a lot like Net neutrality could be taking a hit with this “feature” of the two email systems. A lot of the arguments put forth by AOL and Yahoo center around spam reduction, but most of the time I get very little spam anyway (most of it is caught by the filters). To me, this sounds like just another way to increase revenue.

Original New York Times Article

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AOL, Yahoo to Start Charging E-Mail Postage

February 4, 2006

By Michael Santo

Contributing Writer, RealTechNews

You read correctly, though the system will only be used for companies. They will be charged from 1/4 to 1 cent for each email; [/url]

Yeah, only for companies... for now. Everything that charges premiums start out narrow enough, but will soon encompass a mass amount of service (eg; ESPN Insider, IGN.com, the list goes on...).

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