New venture promises free home-page setups

Internet users will be able to open their home pages for free in a “cybercity” that will be launched as early as September, Softbank Corp. and California-based GeoCities Corp. announced June 16.

The new cybercity called GeoCities will be located on an Internet site that will be operated by GeoCities Japan Corp., a joint venture company of Softbank and GeoCities. Internet users who signed up as members of the new cybercommunity will receive 2 megabytes-memory for free per person and can make their home pages easily in GeoCities using various software provided by GeoCities Japan.

GeoCities Japan will be established at the end of this month with capitalization of 200 million yen. Softbank will invest 60 percent and GeoCities will put up the remainder.

GeoCities, headed by David Bohnett, is already operating a cybercity in English with 650,000 residents. Its major source of revenue is advertisements, attracting major companies such as Toyota Motor Corp. and Microsoft Corp. as regular advertisers.