Such news has dogged the company since it was rescued from administration by Argos owner, Great Universal Stores, in December.
A report in the Sunday Telegraph said GUS was expected to announce the closure of breathe.com this week. It was also suggested that GUS snapped up the UK’s sixth largest ISP at the bargain price of £1.4m just to get its hands on the company’s mobile and internet access technology, which could be applied to its own internet shopping strategy.
At the time of bailing Breathe out of administration, John Peace, chief executive of GUS, was quoted as saying: ‘We are very pleased to have the opportunity to use the information and technology that we have acquired with Breathe.com, with ease of use the top-most priority.’
Apparently the company was attracted to Breathe’s ‘substantial expertise and technology in enabling multi-device access to the internet using PCs, Wap phones and other devices’.
But Anna Fairbairn, a spokeswoman for the company, which currently has a user base of 400,000, played down the prospect of closure, saying that GUS ‘would not comment on rumour and speculation’, and ‘nothing more could be said until a report is released by GUS’ in the near future.
Breathe, like many other ISPs, first hit rough ground at the end of last year with its unmetered service. Eventually the company was forced to can its 0800 offering because it proved an impossible business model to sustain.
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