The Buzz: February 12, 2001

By eweek  |  Posted 2001-02-12

Grove Urges IT Investment

If congress is going to give U.S. citizens a tax break, then it should do something for small businesses, according to Intel Chairman Andrew Grove.

With the economy slowing and small businesses already struggling to get online, Grove, who founded the chip maker, said last week that the federal government should give small businesses that employ fewer than 100 workers a 10 percent tax credit on their IT purchases.

This would allow small businesses to keep pace with their larger brethren, which have spent billions building up their IT infrastructures, Grove said, speaking at a dinner of the World Affairs Council, in Washington.

Grove also called on the government to double the funding for high-tech R&D, increase investment in science education and relax immigration restrictions for foreign students who want to study high tech in the United States.

President Bush last week submitted his $1.6 trillion tax-cut plan to Congress.

Dell Shutters Marketplace

Just five months after it was unveiled, Dell Marketplace has quietly gone out of business.

The business-to-business online site, formally announced in September and launched in November, was shut down this month after it failed to attract more than three "quality" suppliers, a Dell spokesman said.

The first partners on the site—3M, Motorola and Pitney Bowes—were the only ones to join it.

The spokesman said the computer maker closed the B2B exchange—www.—due to lack of demand and the unwillingness of customers to participate.

While confirming that the site never grew beyond its initial three business partners, Dell said this was due in part to its determination to admit only quality companies.

Investments in E-Com Slow

Investments in e-commerce continue to decline.

According to a joint study by PricewaterhouseCoopers and VentureOne released last week, venture capital investments dropped for the third consecutive quarter in the fourth quarter of last year. Companies invested $13.7 billion last quarter, a decline of 18 percent from the same period in 1999.

Rocket Fuel