Roundup: Dot-com downturn - where do companies go from here?

But reports of death of e-commerce have been exaggerated, experts say

It's been a long, hot summer for dot-coms in the US and Europe alike. This spring's meltdown in Internet shares has turned out to be a long-term affair, resulting in delayed or scrapped flotations and a round of consolidations. The news that Freeserve will almost certainly fall out of the FTSE 100 when the index is revised next week has triggered another round of speculation on just what went wrong -- with some arguing that dot-com shares were simply overvalued to begin with. "There is only a slump in the sense that initial expectations were over-inflated," says Martha Bennett, vice president for European research with Giga Information Group. A study released 30 August suggested the gloom around e-commerce's future may be just as exaggerated as the initial enthusiasm. The ePerformance Scorecard study from McKinsey & Company, the management consultants, showed that 12 percent of the companies surveyed were profitable and showed strong growth. McKinsey surveyed more than 200 business-to-consumer Internet companies in North America, Europe and Latin America. The figure might not seem like much, but McKinsey says it is an indication that business-to-consumer e-commerce has the potential to create real, sustainable businesses. "The last quarter of 1999 saw continued momentum in key operational metrics for Internet businesses," the firm reported. "On average, visitor volume at online sites grew 65 percent, conversion of visitors to customers improved by 35 percent, and revenues per customer increased 28 percent." THE RECENT HIGHLIGHTS:
Freeserve could get the boot from FTSE 100
Wed, 30th Aug 2000 ISP's removal from top index underscores change of heart about pure-play Internet stocks Dot-com homecomings
Fri, 25th Aug 2000 Those dot-com spinoffs look like coming back to their parents after mixed success at attempts to prove their independence URwired closes its doors
Wed, 23rd Aug 2000 Splash! Yes, it's the sound of another UK dot-com going under QXL gets a cut-price ricardo
Fri, 18th Aug 2000 QXL in a position to fight eBay in Europe as ricardo takeover is finally agreed Lastminute buys French Degriftour
Mon, 14th Aug 2000 Lastminute avoids French growing pains by buying already established e-travel company Lastminute.com shares drop
Thu, 03rd Aug 2000 Investors not impressed by £9.3m quarterly loss More UK dot-coms log off
Mon, 31st Jul 2000 Adabra.com sells assets to another startup, while Clickmango quietly bows out SAP shuts down e-commerce joint venture
Mon, 31st Jul 2000 However you juggle the letters they seem to be unlucky -- SAP's ASP provision joint venture is to be closed. But shares are on their way up Will third time be the charm for LetsBuyIt.com?
Fri, 21st Jul 2000 Site goes for a low 3.5 euro public offer price Boo.com's remains help stoke up UK Web search tool
Wed, 28th Jun 2000 Bright Station unveiled a souped-up Internet search engine on Wednesday, to be fed at first from the remains of fallen online retailer Boo.com. Europ@web flotation called off
Thu, 22nd Jun 2000 Adverse markets claim another IPO victim -- this time, Bernard Arnault's Internet fund Boo.com may face DTI probe
Tue, 20th Jun 2000 Failed e-commerce site may have to account to DTI for its vanished millions Goldman sees fresh faith in tech IPOs
Mon, 19th Jun 2000 Investors' faith in the tech stock market is on the rise again, according to Goldman Sachs investment banking MD Paul Harvey Somerfield online shopping service shuts down
Fri, 16th Jun 2000 Supermarket group pulls plug amidst continuing merger disaster Click-and-mortar: a Net hybrid
Thu, 15th Jun 2000 Traditional brick-and-mortar retailers are having the last laugh as dot-coms scramble to include physical stores into their business models to survive It's dog eat dog for online pet sellers
Tue, 13th Jun 2000 E-tailers continue to consolidate as Pets.com, best known for its sock puppet, buys Petstore for its partnerships and fish Exclusive: Another UK startup bites the bullet
Tue, 13th Jun 2000 News site the-bullet.com ceases day-to-day operations, adding to crisis in content sites What'll you bid for this failed 'dot-com'?
Mon, 12th Jun 2000 Is it worth bidding for dot-coms that have gone down the tubes? If the idea was a good one, then yes, says this US report Click for more in-depth coverage at the ZDNet UK News Specials page. See techTrader for more technology investment news, plus quotes and research. What do you think? Tell the Mailroom. And read what others have said.