The Sardinian Who Would Be A Leviathan

It happened around the pool at Niky Grauso's mansion on the sleepy Italian island of Sardinia: When L'Unione Sarda, the local newspaper he owns, went on the Internet last summer, the 48-year-old media entrepreneur was so impressed that he decided to set up his own online network. For weeks, he and his staff worked out a business plan as they lounged in the sun. "By the end of the month," says Grauso's computer consultant, Reinier van Kleij, "we had the company set up and the first equipment ordered--all from poolside."

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