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CBS to Pull Out of Videotext Joint Venture

November 17, 1986|KATHRYN HARRIS | Times Staff Writer

CBS, continuing a wave of cutbacks, said Friday that it is pulling out of a videotext venture formed almost three years ago with International Business Machines and Sears, Roebuck.

IBM and Sears will continue as equal partners in the venture, called Trintex. The remaining partners said CBS' withdrawal would not delay the service, expected to be commercially available in the next two years.

CBS will receive no cash payment for its one-third stake, but the New York-based company will not pay a penalty for quitting, either.

George F. Schweitzer, a CBS vice president of communications, said CBS holds a non-interest-bearing subordinated note that will entitle it to recoup up to $32 million of its investment after IBM and Sears recoup their full investment in the venture.

As of Dec. 31, 1985, CBS had contributed $18.8 million to Trintex, still in the development phase. No figures have been disclosed for 1986, but one industry source said he believes that CBS spent about $20 million this year on the project.

Trintex will be marketed to personal computer users who want to tap into a nationwide network for two-way transactions such as shopping and banking.

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