'

Letsbuyit.com runs for cover as debts mount

Looks like humans are just too individualistic to follow the cooperative ant example

European e-tailer Letsbuyit.com has suspended trading shares while seeking to defer debt payments.

The company which allows users to bring prices down by "co-buying" -- making joint purchases through online bidding systems -- is the latest web retailer to run into financial trouble this year, following a trend set by maiden casualty, Boo.com.

Letsbuyit.com, which is registered in the Netherlands, needs to raise around £50m to survive. Under Dutch law, the firm can apply for a provisional deferral of debt repayments.

Letsbuyit.com has never made a profit.

The company's troubles arguably began as soon as it attempted to go on the stockmarket: its flotation was scheduled to take place in May, but was postponed because of the sharp drop in technology shares during March and April. It raised around 66m euros when it finally went public in July, half the amount expected.

Take me to ZDNet's Christmas and New Year 2000-2001 Content Schedule.

Take me to ZDNet's 2000 Roundup index.

Have your say instantly, and see what others have said. Click on the TalkBack button and go to the ZDNet News forum.

Let the editors know what you think in the Mailroom. And read what others have said.