Cash problems for German Net firms

One in seven German Internet companies risks running out of money within the next 24 months, according to a new study by the research and consulting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers.

The study analysed 56 publicly traded companies, based on data available as of the end of 1999, said co-author of the study Thomas Schmid. It found that eight of the companies is in danger of liquidity problems, one of them "acutely".

Among those on the endangered list are five e-commerce companies, which sell products and services via the Net to businesses and consumers, and three "e-commerce enablers", or software companies that help other businesses sell on the Web.

"These companies will face a big challenge in the coming years in terms of marketing and research and development" if they want to avoid bankruptcy, said Schmid.

Less risk

Companies involved in three other Internet business sectors analysed - infrastructure, multimedia, and search engines - are less at risk, according to the authors.

The study can be purchased over PricewaterhouseCoopers' Web site.

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