- The Washington Times - Tuesday, December 18, 2001

SANTA MONICA, Calif. (AP) Troubled Internet company Drkoop.com Inc. said yesterday it is closing and will liquidate its assets.
The site, started in Austin, Texas, in 1997 by former U.S. Surgeon General C. Everett Koop and others, had hoped to find new financing, but the company said it has run out of money and will declare bankruptcy.
The company said it will ask a court-appointed trustee to sell its assets to satisfy its creditors. Shareholders, who have seen the value of the stock plunge from $45 soon after it went public, to pennies per share before it was delisted earlier this year, likely will not receive anything, the company said. The company closed yesterday at 7 cents.
In July, the company agreed to pay $4.25 million in cash to settle lawsuits filed by investors who claimed Drkoop.com made false promises.
The high-profile failure leaves WebMd and Medscape as the major online health-information sites.
Drkoop.com failed largely because it relied solely on advertising for revenue, unlike its competitors.
Ultimately, health-related sites suffer from a lack of perceived credibility by consumers, according to Stacey Rich, an analyst at Jupiter Media Metrix.
She said studies show that about 68 percent of Web users search for health content online, but do so too infrequently to support a site reliant on advertising revenue.

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