Fate of Breathe hangs in the balance

Future of UK's sixth largest ISP remains unclear

Retailer Great Universal Stores (GUS) has refused to comment on speculation that it is to shut down its ISP Breathe to concentrate on promoting it as a shopping portal.

It was also reported that the GUS plans to end the ISPs mobile Internet service in the Sunday Telegraph newspaper. GUS acquired Breathe in December

"All that we are saying is that the technology and assets were the main reason for the acquisition," says a spokeswoman for GUS. "It has been very pioneering in the multi device access and there is a growing market for mobile shopping that is interesting for GUS."

If the ISP were to close, it would be a serious blow for the UK's new media industry which has suffered closures and layoffs in recent weeks. Breathe's management team was in a meeting this morning and unavailable for comment.

Breathe is the UK's sixth largest ISP with an estimated 400,000 users. It was bought by Great Universal in January for £1.4m after it amassed debts of £50m.

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