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Dotcom Digest

News, 19 January 2001

AltaVista, the internet search engine and portal owned by CGMI, yesterday announced plans to axe 200 jobs - around 25% of its current headcount. The move follows the layoff last September of 225 people. Says AltaVista executive adviser Peter Mills: "Alta Vista has not been immune to the softness in advertising." After the current round of layoffs, the company will employ around 600 staff.
News source: Financial Times

Ebay, the largest online auction site, bucked the doom-trend on Thursday, reporting stronger than expected fourth quarter earnings. Q4 net income at the unfashionably profitable company increased from $3.8m to $23.9m excluding one-off compensation and amortisation charges. President/ceo Meg Whitman commented: “We believe it is fair to say that our brand has begun to transcend the internet."
News source: Financial Times

Holiday online sales soared by 54% despite worries about an imminent slowdown in the economy, with US consumers hiking their online spend to $10.8 billion compared with $7bn in 1999, reports Jupiter Research’s Post-Holiday 2000 Consumer Survey. During the run-up to Christmas and the New Year, some 36 million consumers bought online, spending an average of $304. Jupiter analysts observe that those etailers with improved back-end operations achieved the highest number of satisfied online shoppers. Thirty-five percent of all cybershoppers bought from pure-play operators, while 37% bought from etailers that also have a bricks and mortar presence or a hard copy catalog.
News source: Advertising Age - Interactive Daily

Jupiter Media Metrix, the online research and measurement specialist, hard hit by the dotcom recession, has downgraded its Q4 revenue forecasts from the $39.5m-$42m range to $38.2m-$38.5m. The predicted net loss for the quarter is between 22-23 cents per share. “Moreover,” said ceo Tod Johnson, “unanticipated costs in our international expansion initiatives, and several one-time costs related to our recent merger, resulted in higher overall costs.” Accordingly, the group will dispense with around eighty employees – some 8% of its workforce. Johnson added that the the group aims to move into the black in 2001 with a combination of revenue growth and tighter cost control.
News source: Advertising Age - Interactive Daily

 San Francisco-based NBC Internet, the web subsidiary of the national TV network, yesterday unveiled swingeing job cuts reflecting the slowdown in online advertising. Nearly one third of the portal’s workforce – 150 people across all departments – are to lose their jobs in NBCi’s quest to emerge from the red by 2002. According to NBCi ceo Will Lansing: “We are determined to reach profitability within the same time frame we reported at the end of the third quarter.
News source: Financial Times, the internet trading arm of the world's largest retailer, has bought the content of, a horticultural website that has lost its bloom and is about to wither. The terms of the deal were not disclosed but said it received a total of $4.43 million from disposals both to Walmart and garden products company Burpee Holdings, the latter having acquired's brand and customer data. According to Walmart, not only will it use's content online, it also aims to explore its value within garden centres at its retail outlets. Full integration of content into the site will take until next year.
News source: Financial Times

News sources: As individually attributed