April 5, 2001, 12:00 AM

Buyers bought $13 billion in Internet companies in first quarter

Destinations accounted for $2.2 billion, a fraction of last year’s first quarter total.

Kurt Peters

Executive Editor

A total of 380 Internet companies were sold at a total cost of $13 billion in the first quarter of this year, far outweighing the number of substantial Internet companies, 147, that shut down during the same period, according to Webmergers.com, a research-backed marketplace for buyers and sellers of Internet properties. Destinations including retail sites accounted for 184 of the deals and only $2.2 billion in spending in the first quarter, down dramatically from the $52 billion spent on destinations in Q1 2000. Deals involving Internet infrastructure-–e-business software and communications networks--dominated, accounting for 132 transactions totaling $9 billion for the quarter.

“The decline in the number of deals and in spending reflects extreme caution among buyers, a dramatic decline in valuations and a relative lack of large deals,” says Tim Miller, Webmergers.com president. Miller also noted that the year to date has seen a slight increase relative to totals for all of last year in the percentage of shutdowns among Internet access providers and providers of professional web design and Internet technical services versus other sectors. Together, they accounted for 17% of shutdowns in the first quarter versus 11% for all of 2000. By contrast, the percentage of e-commerce shutdowns has declined slightly so far this year compared to the full year of 2000. Consumer-focused e-commerce sites accounted for 54% of all shutdowns in 2000, but only 43% of shutdowns in the first quarter of this year.



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