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Marriage… or Monopoly?
8/1/2003
The merger of online genealogy's two biggest players leaves family historians wondering whether their union is for better or worse.

In a move that rocked the family history world, MyFamily.com and A&E Television Networks (AETN) announced in April that MyFamily, owner of online genealogy giant Ancestry.com <www.ancestry.com >, has acquired Genealogy.com <www.genealogy.com>, producer of the top-selling Family Tree Maker software. The deal puts Ancestry.com, free grassroots site RootsWeb <www.rootsweb. Cenealogy.com all under the MyFamily umbrella — and allows MyFamily to dominate the Internet genealogy business. Together, these Web sites receive more than Illion monthly visitors and boast more than 1 million paid subscriptions.

A survey on our own Web site <www.com/myfamilysurvey.asp> asked if this business marriage was for better or for worse. Of the 100-plus responses we received, an overwhelming majority indicated that the merger creates a monopoly and isn't in consumers' best interest. Here's a sampling of the feedback submitted:

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