Sotheby's Looks for Net Profit with a Leap into Cyberspace
Usborne, David, The Independent (London, England)
SOTHEBY'S, the venerable auction house with a 250-year history, took a startling leap into the cyber-future yesterday, announcing the creation of sothebys.com.
The company hopes to tap millions of new customers who may prefer mouse- clicking over paddle-waving when bidding for art, jewellery and collectibles.
Also yesterday, At Home Corp, a California company that specialises in delivering high-speed Internet connections to private homes in the United States, revealed that is to buy Excite Inc, the owner of one of the most popular portals on the World Wide Web, for a stunning $6.7 billion in stock. If completed, the At Home transaction will be largest single deal in the history of the Internet, eclipsing the America Online's recent purchase of Netscape Communications three months ago. At Home will be paying nearly double Excite's market value, put at about $3.4bn at the close of trading last Friday. Both announcements offered fresh illustration of the ongoing explosion of consumer and investor interest in all things do to with the Internet. Recent weeks have been marked by soaring prices among stocks offered by fledgling Internet enterprises, most of which have yet to make a dollar in profit. …