Yahoo has bought Oddpost, a vendor of online e-mail and news services, for something close to $30 million. Yahoo is hoping to use the experience of that company to enhance parts of Yahoo network, such as Yahoo Mail.

"The Oddpost acquisition underscores the recent surge in competition among providers of free e-mail services. Yahoo is fighting for business against such rivals as Microsoft's Hotmail service, and is preparing for the entry of a promising new contender--Google's Gmail system. Gmail promises users 1GB of storage, which in June led Microsoft to pledge to raise Hotmail's free e-mail storage limit from 2MB to 250MB. Yahoo upgraded to 100MB for free users and 2GB to paying e-mail customers."