Briefs

FRAMINGHAM (07/21/2000) - Cisco Systems Inc. in San Jose this week invested US$100 million in San Carlos, Calif.-based Liberate Technologies, a developer of software for the convergence of Internet content and television broadcasts.

As part of the agreement, Liberate will participate in Cisco's New World Ecosystem program, a group of technology companies that assist service providers. Cisco will integrate its broadband technology with the Liberate TV Navigator client and Liberate Connect server software to enhance broadband connections for interactive television.

Drkoop.com Inc., another high-profile Internet venture struggling for survival, continues to suffer, with more losses, shareholder lawsuits and the resignation of two top executives. In a filing submitted to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) this week, the Austin, Texas-based online medical information company said it expects to report another loss for the second quarter on revenue of just $2.5 million to $3 million. Drkoop.com also announced that its chief operating officer and chief financial officer both "voluntarily elected to resign." The report to the SEC followed the filing of a pair of class-action lawsuits against Drkoop.com by law firms in Washington and New York on behalf of the company's shareholders.

Visa USA Inc. in Foster City, Calif., in partnership with Sun Microsystems Inc. and Cisco Systems, this week unveiled Visa DirectExchange, a payment-processing system. Visa claimed that the system will be the largest private financial payment network with access to Internet technologies. The network will facilitate universal commerce, or u-commerce, according to chief technology officer Scott Thompson, which will enable the company to handle a whole range of payments besides credit-card processing.

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