Mindspring Enterprise's chief executive said that legal restrictions prevented the company from releasing the names of prospective merger or acquisition targets.
But he admitted on US television on Wednesday that the firm was in talks with another Internet Service Provider (ISP) to help it compete better against America Online (AOL).
Charles Brewer continued that Mindspring would only divulge names when it had signed a definitive agreement, but added that the firm was forced to admit to discussions on 24 June, after one staff member accidentally said that it was not in any talks.
It was under a legal obligation to correct untrue statements, he explained.
Last month, Mindspring canceled an analysts' meeting because it was not prepared to elaborate on the discussions, but rumours suggest that Dell Computer may be in the frame or the Institute for Global Communications. Mindspring announced last month that it had acquired between 5-10,000 subscribers from the San Francisco based ISP.
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