Webvan, DrKoop.com still for sale

Ceverettkoop_1Every now and then, something makes me nostalgic for the dot-com era. Maybe it’s finding a paint-stained T-shirt in the bottom drawer from a dead Internet company that never got the chance to go public. How tragic! Or maybe it’s remembering back to a time when everyone—even me—thought they had a shot at being a millionaire.

But some things about that long-ago time simply make me laugh, like the news that the Securities and Exchange Commission suspended trading of Webvan Group and DrKoop.com only this past Wednesday. They, and 24 other companies, have been cited “for not making required periodic filings” with the SEC. One could look on the bright side and note that the SEC says the suspensions will last for only 10 days.

Except those two companies no longer exist, and haven’t for about three years. Webvan filed for bankruptcy in July 2001, and the DrKoop.com URL is now run by a group called MDchoice.com, with this off-the-wall disclaimer: “The DrKoop.com URL and Web site is not associated with C. Everett Koop, M.D., former Surgeon General of the United States.”

OK. The whole situation sent me on a further trip down memory lane, so I Googled both companies, and here’s the most interesting thing I found: Stock certificates for both, along with Broadband.com and Payforview.com, are for sale as a package at Scriptophily, a site that bills itself as “the Internet’s No. 1 Buyer of Stock and Bond Certificates.” And all for the low, low price of $99.95. That’s 50 percent off!

Yes, the dot-com era may be over, but a sucker is still born every day.

—Posted by Catharine P. Taylor

Photo: Alex Wong