GE Sells Its Struggling Online Service to Yovelle Renaissance

From Bloomberg Business News

General Electric Co. said it has sold its struggling GEnie computer online service to Yovelle Renaissance Corp., a closely held company based in Queens, N.Y. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

The 10-year-old GEnie fell behind larger rivals in the increasingly competitive online and Internet markets. Analysts have said that parent GE largely ignored GEnie, failing to spend enough money to make the brand name recognizable among consumers.

GE said it sold GEnie because it doesn’t fit with General Electric Information Service’s core business, which is to allow companies to buy and sell products over its computer network. GEnie accounted for about 5% of GEIS’ $700,000 in annual sales.


GEIS founded GEnie in 1985 to entice consumers to use its computer network when businesses were offline at night. GEIS, though, let GEnie slip in the market.

Analysts estimate GEnie has about 90,000 customers, far behind America Online and CompuServe, which each have spent more than $150 million during the last 18 months to keep their products competitive.