One of the best-known names in the online arena filed for bankruptcy in
October. The future for its loss-making content businesses, including
the search engine and portal Excite with 110 million registered users,
remains uncertain. Shares that had once gone for $55 each were
trading at 15 cents before closure.
In November, the job search site closed its operations in nine
countries, including the UK - making more than 500 people unemployed.
Channel 4 lost £2 million in sponsorship revenue. StepStone was
one of the last major standalone brands of the dotcom era.
3. Industry Standard
Founded in 1997, the magazine that symbolised the dotcom boom shut up
shop in August after falling victim itself to the internet economic
slump. Advertising revenue plummeted by 75 per cent in the first half of
the year and the magazine was set to make a loss of £35 million in
September saw Deepgroup, the digital communications group that includes
the Deepend, Relish and Gluemedia agencies, go into liquidation. The
news came as a shock to all. Glue survived thanks to a rescue package
from St Luke's.
5. Trinity Mirror Digital
More than 130 staff were made redundant in October when the company
announced its plans to reintegrate its network of 13 regional sites into
its regional newspaper business. Staff on the relaunched Mirror.co.uk
and DailyRecord.co.uk were mercifully unaffected. The move was the
death-knell for TMD's plans to create a standalone internet brand.
6. 24/7 Media Europe
At its zenith, 24/7 - the online ad sales outfit - had 18 offices in 13
European countries but in September the company closed its doors after a
last-ditch rescue attempt failed. Thirty staff were made redundant.
The online agency shut its London offices in August seeing 50 jobs go to
the wall. Razorfish made the move after announcing poor quarterly
revenues. Two other offices, Milan and Helsinki, looked under threat as
IPC Media called time on the online version of the lads' magazine Loaded
in August. The previous month, IPC had been taken over by AOL Time
Warner - at the time of Loaded's demise the publisher announced that
another two magazine sites were to close; Unmissabletv.com and
Another job site goes under. The site launched last year at a cost of
more than £15 million but closed in October after failing to make
any impact in an already crowded online recruitment market. The site was
the baby of the recruitment company Ranstad Holdings and VNU.
In a rare failure for Richard Branson, the site dedicated to the
nation's small businesses was forced to merge with a rival in November.
Launched in 1999, Branson's timing couldn't have been worse.