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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.
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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.
Wall Street Words: An A to Z Guide to Investment Terms for Today's Investor by David L. Scott. Copyright © 2003 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
The advances in technology, along with long-term, experienced digital companies like The Idea People, make speed to market a deciding factor to push forward with dot-com business ideas;
In the early 2000s, the burst of the dot-com bubble also meant dissolution for many of the online broker pioneers.
Invented by a former dot-com engineer, players of Burn Rate struggle to keep a dot-com start-up afloat as bad business pours in and the money runs out.
Can you still make a profitable go of it in today's leaner-and-meaner dot-com world?
"I had thousands of emails from dot-com employees informing me of the goings on in their companies," writes Kaplan.
Thanks to Wall Street, the dot-coms were better capitalized than most new companies and so could hang on longer.
It's a lesson many dot-coms learned the hard way as they burned through cash in an attempt to quickly gain market share.
A number of initially well-funded dot-coms have closed their doors, and auditors for several well-known dot-coms have issued warnings that the dot-com's survival is in "substantial doubt." Liquidation is a growth industry for the dot-com, and a dot-com's liquidation yields little for vendors.
Instead, his firm has had more applicants who worked in the Internet sector for the Big Five, than from startups or dot-coms.
Buildscape lays off 50 as the dot-com downturn worsens.
As they do, they might find it educational to consider the fate of a group of bold (perhaps over-bold) business risk pioneers: the now-humbled dot-coms.
LATIN America's dot-coms were the darlings of Wall Street up till the U.S.