Internet vendor stock bubble to burst

The "bubble" of over-inflated United States (US) Internet vendor stock prices is set to burst as the value "is not there," according to Oracle chief executive officer (CEO) Larry Ellison.

Ellison, here to participate in the Sydney to Hobart yacht race, told a press conference yesterday that "some of the Internet valuations [were] inexplicable".

The senior executive also said the acquisition of Netscape by America Online (AOL) would undermine Microsoft's defences in the anti-trust case brought by the Department of Justice (DoJ).

"Now Netscape is finally dead.......[this] has shown just how damaging the Microsoft assault has been".

Ellison sought to differentiate the competitive business practices undertaken by Oracle from those of Microsoft, arguing that Microsoft was a monopoly, and as such, "subject to a different code of behaviour" under US law.

However, the Internet computing "revolution" would ensure that "regardless of the DoJ case, Microsoft's monopoly [was] certain to dissolve", he claimed.

"In the era of the Internet, there will be no monopoly, because [the Internet] is based on standards that are available to us all."

He claimed the information technology industry was "profoundly inefficient" due to its embrace of a distributed computing model incorporating "complex PCs and complex server servers everywhere" and touted Internet-based computing as the way of the future.

He said the cost of Internet computing to an enterprise was "one-tenth" the cost of PC-based computing, but did not provide a detailed breakdown of why this was the case.

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