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Whitemail, coined as an opposite to blackmail, has several meanings.
In economics, whitemail is an anti-takeover arrangement in which the target company will sell significantly discounted stock to a friendly third party. In return, the target company helps thwart takeover attempts, by
- raising the acquisition price of the raider
- diluting the hostile bidder’s number of shares
- increasing the aggregate stock holdings of the company
Whitemail can also be considered as legally compensating someone for doing their job in a manner benefiting the payer. For example, if a person gives a maître d' a $20 bill in order to secure a table more quickly than other patrons who had arrived earlier, this could be considered whitemail. It is merely a compensatory incentive for someone to do their job quicker, better, or in a manner more advantageous to the payer. It can be considered a bribe, depending on the person being offered the incentive and the action the incentive is intended to influence.
In fundraising, whitemail is a donation received without a response form, coupon, statement, or other source identification, so it cannot be attributed to any particular fundraising campaign. These donations often come in generic, white-colored envelopes.
On the internet, Whitemail was an anonymous mailer hosted on biomatic.org. It would allow any visitor to send e-mail messages to any address at no cost and with no registration required, simply using the site's interface. Whitemail even allowed its users to provide any e-mail address (their own, somebody else's or one that does not exist) that would then appear to the recipient as the message's origin. The Whitemail service was removed from the site at version 3 in 2004
Whitemail is also used to refer to the automated handling of inbound faxes and letters as customer requests to, and at, service and reception desks. For example, KANA White Mail uses this terminology and is a provider of software to integrate Customer Relations Management (CRM) systems with email clients.
- "Whitemail". Retrieved 2006-12-07.