Business.com Inc., which paid a record $7 million for its Web domain 18 months ago, has purchased rival Work.com for a mere $500,000, reflecting how far valuations of Internet companies have fallen recently.
For Dow Jones & Co. and Excite@Home, which together plowed about $30 million into the joint venture, Work.com represents an unsuccessful attempt to leverage Dow Jones news and sell software to small and medium-sized businesses.
"In this kind of emerging medium, it's important to do some experimentation," Dow Jones spokesman Dick Tofel said. "And not all experiments are going to succeed."
Dow Jones continues to have a substantial online presence. The company's marquee site, http://www.wsj.com, had 535,000 paying subscribers as of Dec. 31, bringing in revenue of more than $50 million last year, Tofel said. And its Factiva online news service, which reported $250 million in revenue last year, continues to grow, Tofel said.