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Business Week -- Home Page


Touchy, touchy! You'd think high-tech companies would be flattered that Hasbro Games (HAS) wanted them in a New Economy version of board-game classic Monopoly. But two big guns wouldn't let their names be used: Microsoft (MSFT) and America Online (AOL). Hasbro won't dish on why the antitrust targets begged off. Microsoft won't talk Monopoly--or monopoly. AOL, facing opposition to its Time Warner merger, is M-phobic, too.

Companies' placement on the board is meant to reflect status, as in the original. Yahoo! (YHOO) rules the Boardwalk, with Excite@Home (ATHM) in the next-priciest Park Place position. Who's squatting on low-rent Baltic Avenue? Bad news, Sportsline (SPLN). Excite's placement amuses some, given its stock's 80% drop. But venture capitalist Geoffrey Y. Yang has a suggestion: "At the rate at which market caps change, they should put these things in Velcro."

Another way this game doesn't imitate life: Building a monopoly is a good thing. Too bad for Microsoft and AOL that life isn't a board game.By Rochelle Sharpe

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