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Dot-com deaths continue

As the surge in dot-coms deaths continues month on month, ASPs join the casualty list

The number of Internet companies forced to close in April rose 20 percent compared on March figures, bringing the total number of dot-com closures since January last year to 435.

Internet tracking group Webmergers has reported that 55 e-commerce, online consulting and Internet access firms shut last month, in comparison to March when the figure was 44. The number of dot-com closures has been steadily increasing since the Internet bubble burst in April 2000, and almost half of the 435 closures since January 2000 have taken place this year. February 2001, when a total of 58 dot-coms went under, was the worst month for the sector

One worrying aspect of Webmerger's figures is that Application Service Providers (ASPs) -- such as mortgage services company LoanTrader and Talisma Corporation -- are now appearing in the list of dot-com deaths. ASPs, which host applications for companies to alleviate the hassle of running and supporting applications, were expected to thrive as traditional firms start to move their businesses onto the Web.

Internet companies that bit the dust in April included Madge.web and Firedup.com -- as well as new media magazine The Industry Standard Europe. The worst may soon be over, though, with analyst firm IDC predicting that IT spending will pick up in 2002 and provide a boost to e-commerce.

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