In the Rush To Profitability, One Finds It Better To Buy Than Build



Struggling Netzee Inc. is fleeing its catchall approach to financial-services software. In danger of being de-listed on the Nasdaq exchange, Netzee is carving away many of the bill-payment, cash-management, Web-design, analysis, and hosting services.

Following a decision last fall to focus only on Internet-based products, Netzee has jumped feet first into new products like the ones it recently bought from HomeCom Communications Inc. For an undisclosed amount, Netzee picked up HomeCom's intelligent one-to-one marketing product, a customer-base and Internet-banking software. Netzee also bought Internet-banking and bill-paying businesses from John H. Harland Co., while giving Harland a 17% stake in the company.

Netzee executives hope that buying rather than building will help the outfit see some green quickly. Earlier this month the company received a notice from The Nasdaq National Market saying the company has fallen short of the required $1 minimum bid price, and if it doesn't trade at $1 or more for 10 consecutive days before June 11, the company will be de-listed.

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