Industry News to launch in February

Site lets consumers switch utilities, research neighborhoods for free

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The marketing arm of a group of telecommunications and home warranty companies, among others, is launching, a Web site that is intended to assist home buyers, sellers and renters in switching utilities and researching cities, schools and neighborhoods. The Elephant Group, which works with such companies as Cingular, Motorola, Sony, Nokia, HBO, EchoStar, Showtime and Comcast, is a direct-marketing company that assists in the sale of cell phones, satellites, credit cards, home warranties and continuity programs, according to a company announcement. The Web site, in addition to free utility-switching services, also offers free home buying and moving research, neighborhood and city statistics, home valuations, local school information, employment information, local news and weather, and a "household bill-lowering concierge service," according to a Web site description. A company announcement states that the utility-switching services and other services at the site ...