Where Is It Now? Open Market's Fall

This e-biz early bird didn't get the worm. Here's what went wrong, and what's next

Lots of companies claim to be pioneers in e-business, but few can match the bona fides of Open Market Inc. Founded in May, 1994--one month before Netscape Communications Corp.--Open Market spotted back in the early days the critical need for software that lets companies offer their wares on the Net. It attracted an A-list of strategic partners, including AT&T Corp. and Time Warner Inc. And with the dawn of Internet commerce being widely anticipated, the company's initial public offering in May, 1996, was a spectacular hit, placing a market cap of $1.2 billion on a company with only $1.8 million in revenues the previous year.

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