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IQ News: @deadline

ALTAVISTA STILL SEARCHING
As Digital Equipment Corp., Maynard, Mass., ordered a company-wide spending freeze last week on the heels of its acquisition by Compaq, Houston, DEC’s search engine, AltaVista, continued to forge ahead on its expansion plans into new search features and consumer services like free email. It will remain largely unaffected by the spending freeze, according to the company. “Nothing’s changed,” said Abe Hirsch, director of business development, noting that AltaVista operates under a separate profit-and-loss within the company.

NO NEW ONLINE TAXES
Despite opposition from the nation’s governors, President Bill Clinton last week endorsed the Internet Tax Freedom Act, legislation before Congress that would suspend the creation of new taxes for commerce transactions online. If the bill is defeated, governors would get their wish to levy online sales tax on Net merchants, a group that is only intermittenly taxed.

FLIERS BUY ONLINE
Over the past nine months, airline ticket reservations topped out among Web commerce categories with a more than 300 percent growth cycle, according to online market researchers Plan, Stamford, Conn. Plan also reports that top sites for new online users are ABC.com, Autoweb, and RollingStone.com.