(redirected from Dot-com company)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.


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 ?
1 e-commerce travel Web site is the first and only dot-com company in China to be partnered with a major air carrier and two of China's largest banks.
com is First Dot-Com Company To Take Title Sponsorship of NASCAR Winston Cup Event (BW280 12:00)
com presents for the MotoPhoto(R) system, both in terms of driving new customers into our stores and the opportunity for participating in equity growth in an outstanding dot-com company.
com), a startup dot-com company, launched today ASPseek.