Lycos in legal wrangle over its UK Net address

Web search engine firm Lycos had its UK launch marred yesterday by a dispute over its Net address.

The new site will have to start out under the slightly awkward url ''. This is because the preferred '' URL had already been reserved, though Lycos lawyers are disputing he legitimacy of the current ownership.

Undaunted, Lycos has struck a European deal with the huge German media company Bertelsmann to roll out its service in several countries. Chief operating officer Tony Philipp, said: "Lycos is based on superior technology to other search engines... using the patented spider technology which enables a much more sophisticated search than in rival products. We're shortly to ship a 'Pro' version which is even more advanced and which gives the user greater control of the relevancy criteria that Lycos uses."

Lycos claim to be taking a lead in hosting advertising banners with four million impressions per month and rising at a rate of 20 per cent a month, according to marketing director, Anna Barez.

"I've got a big budget and I will spend it," added Barez, stating that she sought to persuade people that Lycos is a "navigational platform" rather than a mere search engine.

Separately, COO Philipp said that Lycos will not go the way of some rivals and attempt to get into content provision.