A consolidation of the online information services market occurred in August when The Source Telecomputing Corporation was folded into CompuServe, Inc. The terms of this acquisition agreement, signed on June 29, allow for a smooth transition of new services to The Source's estimated 53,000 members. The financial details of the purchase were not disclosed.
CompuServe User Identification numbers and passwords are being made available to Source members and customized welcome menus will be posted to help the new users become accustomed to Compuserve commands, data bases, and online membership services.
Compuserve expects to merge The Source's members with their own customer base of 500,000, making it the largest online information service for microcomputer users.
Meanwhile, The Source will be discontinuing the use of its name, its national headquarters, and about 65 employees.
The Source and CompuServe were pioneers in 1979, when they both started in the online information services industry. CompuServe, a unit of Kansas City, Kansas-based H&R Block, grew much faster than The Source and also began providing electronic mail, software and value-added packet data network services.
CompuServe still faces competition from General Electric's GEnie service. GEnie service announced July 20 that it had added Newsbytes News Service to its list of news and information services. Newsbytes, headquartered in San Francisco with bureaus around the world, formerly used The Source for its internal communications.