Internet IPOs Conclude Sensational Year in 1999

Internet IPOs Conclude Sensational Year in 1999

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The Internet is probably the most profound cultural, economic and financial development since the Industrial Revolution. The countless examples during 1999 of the pervasive impact of the Internet included:

  • Merrill Lynch, the largest full-service stock brokerage in the world, introduced discount online trading
  • IBM announced that it would stop selling PCs through retailers in the U.S. and would sell PCs only over the web
  • Encyclopedia Britannica placed its encyclopedia for free on the Internet, swapping two centuries of book sales for an online advertising strategy
  • Microsoft and Intel became the first "new economy" companies, and the first Nasdaq issuers, to be included in the Dow Jones Industrial Average

Against this backdrop, it is hardly surprising that initial public offerings by Internet-related companies (" i POs") dominated the new-issues market in 1999. Still, the extent of the domination was remarkable: