Finding The Right Net Formula

Making money in cyberspace is trickier than anyone suspected

Barely three months ago, Priceline.com Inc. looked like a winner. With William Shatner, a.k.a. Star Trek's Captain Kirk, promoting Priceline's name-your-price concept and airline ticket sales seemingly strong, many on Wall Street were convinced that profits were just around the corner. Soon after, the company was trumpeting a major expansion into grocery and gasoline bidding, Priceline's WebHouse Club Inc., and sporting huge new investments by such savvy investors as Paul Allen and Saudi Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal.

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