GALERIES UNIT SETS UP NET ACCESS GROUP

PARIS — Galeries Lafayette’s Internet unit, E-Laser, Monday announced it had formed a consortium to offer Internet access via new-generation, mobile Web appliances including cellular phones, notepads and laptop computers.
In addition to American chip maker Intel, which recently unveiled the Web appliances, E-Laser said in a statement that it had signed on France Telecom and the French bank BNP-Paribas and was still recruiting others to join Smart Valley SA, the company set up to oversee the initiative.
E-laser and Intel announceda partnership in Europe in January for marketing the Web appliances via various Galeries Lafayette retail units. The company did not identify other possible investors.

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