The Buzz: December 11, 2001
Pet Sites Go to the Dogs
Consolidation is becoming a common word in the dot-com world, and theres no better illustration of that than in the $23 billion pet supply industry.
Last week, Pets.com, which made a name for itself with its Sock Puppet advertising before closing shop last month, announced it is selling its domain name to rival Petsmart.com. Starting today, consumers who type in the Pets.com URL will be redirected to Petsmart.com.
Sock Puppet was not part of the Petsmart deal.
Also last week, Petco, a brick-and-mortar superstore, bought the assets of e-tailer Petopia for an undisclosed sum. Petco earlier this year acquired a 26 percent stake in Petopia.
HP Planning Rebound
Executives at hewlett-Packard took a hit in the wallet for the companys poor fourth-quarter performance.
During a conference with analysts last week, Chairwoman and CEO Carly Fiorina said she and other high-level officials got no executive bonuses for the second half of fiscal year 2000, a punishment for a fourth quarter that saw HP miss analysts expectations by 10 cents a share.
In addition, Fiorina outlined moves HP is making to ensure that its first fiscal quarter of the new year doesnt share the same fate. Those include dumping its Verifone online payments software business, bulking up its server and storage offerings, and making its consulting business profitable.
Napster Lands Hatch Adviser
Song-swapping service creator Napster, in a legal battle with the recording industry over copyrights and the Internet, has added a big weapon to its arsenal.
Manus Cooney, the chief counsel and staff director to the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee, last week was hired by Napster to serve as the companys vice president for corporate and policy development. In that role, Cooney will direct Napsters legislative strategy and represent the company before Congress.
In his role with the Judiciary Committee, Cooney worked on such issues as the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. As chief policy and political adviser to Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, committee chairman, Cooney also worked on hearings that involved Napster and competition in the Internet era.