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A business, especially a publicly-traded company, that conducts most or all of its business over the Internet. Dot-coms may conduct business in one or more of the following areas: Content, Commerce, and Connection. Content companies provide information, either for free or for a charge, and earn most of their operating income from advertising. Commerce companies sell new and/or used goods directly over the Internet. Connection companies provide Internet services directly to customers.

Dot-coms were hugely popular investments in the 1990s, with IPOs of hundreds of dollars per share, even if a company had never produced a profit and, in some cases, had never earned any revenue. This came from the theory that Internet companies needed to expand their customer bases as much as possible and thus corner the largest possible market share, even if this meant massive losses. While this worked for some dot-coms, notably Google, which did not produce a profit for its first several years of operation, the theory was unsustainable because, in a given industry, only one or two companies could corner large market shares, meaning most dot-coms were doomed to failure. This dot-com bubble burst in 2000.


1. Of or relating to a company or the stock of a company engaged primarily in a business associated with the Internet. is the most obvious example of a dot-com company.
References in periodicals archive ?
The average dot-com company will pay $800,000 per year to
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com is just the type of high potential dot-com company that Sun is helping develop with this program.
This makes us a legitimate dot-com company since we have now taken an integrated services approach by utilizing a web interface with our existing EagleOne technology creating the first true virtual receptionist," said Robert J.