ad info

 
CNN.com  technology > computing
    Editions | myCNN | Video | Audio | Headline News Brief | Feedback  

 

  Search
 
 

 
TECHNOLOGY
TOP STORIES

Consumer group: Online privacy protections fall short

Guide to a wired Super Bowl

Debate opens on making e-commerce law consistent

(MORE)

TOP STORIES

More than 11,000 killed in India quake

Mideast negotiators want to continue talks after Israeli elections

(MORE)

MARKETS
4:30pm ET, 4/16
144.70
8257.60
3.71
1394.72
10.90
879.91
 


WORLD

U.S.

POLITICS

LAW

ENTERTAINMENT

HEALTH

TRAVEL

FOOD

ARTS & STYLE



(MORE HEADLINES)
*
 
CNN Websites
Networks image


Remnants of a dead dot-com to be sold at Web auction

InfoWorld

(IDG) -- In what apparently is the first such instance, an online-auction company will offer the entire holdings -- from domain names to chairs and desks -- of a bankrupt Internet company up for bid later this month.

Bid4Assets.com, a Silver Spring, Md.-based online marketplace for buying and selling high-value, distressed assets, will oversee the sale of Civiczone.com's remaining assets, which include everything from domain names to computer equipment software, printers, and office equipment.

Civiczone.com filed for Chapter 7 liquidation in the Northern District of Virginia earlier this year.

MORE COMPUTING INTELLIGENCE
IDG.net   IDG.net home page
  InfoWorld home page
  How to win at Web auctions
  DoD's online auctions spark controversy
  Would you buy an IT team at an auction?
  Reviews & in-depth info at IDG.net
  E-BusinessWorld
  TechInformer
  Questions about computers? Let IDG.net's editors help you
  Subscribe to IDG.net's free daily newsletter for IT leaders
  Search IDG.net in 12 languages
  News Radio
  * Fusion audio primers
  * Computerworld Minute

"Everything has changed since April with the market," said Bill O'Leary, vice president of marketing at Bid4Assets.com. "It got a lot more difficult [for dot-coms] to raise money. A lot of these firms are not able to go out and get more capital, and now they're seeing the cash run out and they're having to look for alternatives. Bankruptcy often takes months, and now you're seeing some of those firms emerge from the other side of the process, into bankruptcy or liquidation."

Indeed, O'Leary said Bid4Assets.com was talking with officials at eight to 12 other Internet companies -- which he would not identify -- that are looking to offer at least some of their assets for auction on the site, in situations that range from filing for bankruptcy to liquidating a portion of their assets in hopes of surviving.

"We maximize their return on the sale of their assets," O'Leary said. "It's a natural thing in business to fail from time to time, and what we do is make it as graceful and exit as possible, and return as much money as we can to them."

Civiczone.com's assets will be viewable in a preview beginning Tuesday, and the 10-day auction will begin Aug. 14, according to Bid4Assets.com, which was founded last November and has listed more than $1 billion of assets for auction in the last six months

"The people who would be interested in this will respond very well. They are comfortable using the Internet to get their information," said Warren Agin, a lawyer at the Boston firm Swiggart & Agin and author of Bankruptcy and secured lending in cyberspace. "You'll see more of it, especially as these kinds of things go on."

There are several advantages to auctioning off assets online, according to O'Leary and others. For one thing, the pool of potential buyers is worldwide. And thanks to the ubiquitousness of the Internet, information can be shared and accessed instantly.

"If you're in a bankruptcy case and need to sell assets, the ability to put your information up on the Web is very, very useful," said Richard Tilton, a New York-based attorney who specializes in bankruptcy trends. "A buyer can evaluate pretty quickly what's out there."

Tilton, who is with the law firm of Greenberg Traurig and author of the book Bankruptcy Business Acquisitions, pointed to the recent privacy fiasco surrounding toysmart.com as controversy that could have been avoided with a Web auction.

Last week, 44 state attorneys general filed a legal brief protesting a proposed settlement between toysmart.com and the Federal Trade Commission that would allow the defunct online toy seller to sell its customer data to another company.

A potential customer could avoid such issues if all the documentation relevant to a bankruptcy case -- particularly court filings -- were viewable on the Web, Tilton said.

"If I'm a buyer, I could have gone to Bid4Asssets.com, looked at all the available information and done my due diligence right over the Web," Tilton said.

O'Leary agreed, saying "you won't see very many customers lists [up for auction] in the short term" because of the toysmart.com case.

Civiczone.com, which was based in Alexandria, Va., was a wireless-technology company that focused on connecting public offices with constituents. In a statement, company officials blamed its failure on a lack of funding and poor market timing as it "tried to transition from a business-to-business consumer-oriented Web site to business-to-business."




RELATED STORIES:
Government's use of online auctions sparks debate
August 9, 2000
Online auctions integral part of new world economy
July 18, 2000
How online auctions work
July 14, 2000
EBay outage leaves users out of luck
July 13, 2000
7 ways to be an online-auction champ
May 19, 2000

RELATED IDG.net STORIES:
Defense Department's online auctions spark controversy
(Network World Fusion)
FCC postpones airwaves auction
(The Industry Standard)
How to win at Web auctions
(PC World Online)
Auction sites walk legal tightrope
(The Industry Standard)
Nose-job auctions? Oh, cut it out
(The Industry Standard)
Would you buy an IT team at an auction?
(Network World Fusion)
Uncle Sam wants you... to bid
(FCW)
Fed antitrust officials probing eBay
(The Industry Standard)

RELATED SITES:
Bid4Assets.com

Note: Pages will open in a new browser window
External sites are not endorsed by CNN Interactive.

 Search   

Back to the top   © 2001 Cable News Network. All Rights Reserved.
Terms under which this service is provided to you.
Read our privacy guidelines.