LOCAL BRANDS in Europe’s three most net-savvy countries - the UK, Germany and France - have ousted US interlopers from the top slots. Despite this, the same four US brands figure among the top thirty websites in the three nations surveyed in November by MMXI Europe, a joint venture between French mar-ket research company Ipsos, GfK of Germany and US internet measurement service Media Metrix.

Although the study of nearly 3,000 home computer users shows Yahoo!, America Online, Microsoft and Microsoft-owned MSN in prominent positions in each country’s top ten, the number one slots were held by indigenous services. In Britain FreeServe was clear favourite, demoting previous market leader Yahoo! to second place; similarly in Germany T-Online ruled the roost, as did France’s Wanadoo on its home patch - the latter a joint venture between France Telecom and Deutsche Telekom.

AOL, formerly dominant in the three countries, languished in fifth place in Britain and France - but fared slightly better in Germany where it was ranked third.