E-Commerce Deals Approach $4 Billion

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Deals involving electronic commerce firms totaled $3.99 billion in the third quarter of 1998 with Web agencies conducting 28 of the 92 transactions and database firms accounting for $1.25 billion of total activity.


Internet retailers were the second most active segment with 18 deals worth $245.2 million while the software segment accounted for 17 deals worth $565.7 million. Web agency deals totaled $775 million.


The three largest deals in the quarter were Ticketmaster Online's acquisition of CitySearch, Softbank's investment in E*Trade Group and US Web's purchase of CKS Group. Those three transactions alone accounted for $1.46 billion. Softbank was also on the list of firms with three deals or more that also included Agency.com, Sterling Commerce and Verio.


Winterberry identified minority investments from venture capital firms as the most common transaction. Examples of this included General Atlantic Partner's $20 million investment in Priceline.com and Fingerhut's $2 million stake in PC Flowers & Gifts.


Winterberry president Michael Petsky predicts venture capital investment will continue and focus on bringing direct marketing principles to the e-commerce platform.
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