Published on ., a joint venture aimed at the small- and midsize-business market run by Dow Jones & Co. and [email protected] Corp., will close its doors on March 31, the two partners said March 9.

The reasons cited for the close have the ring of familiarity: the drop-off in online advertising spending and the shaky environment for acquiring additional funding., based in Redwood City, Calif., will let go most of its 113 employees next week. The venture was launched last April with the hopes that it would become a premiere business portal. Dow Jones had warned last week that it would not meet first-quarter earnings estimates and that it was beginning a program to cut costs and reduce staff.

Copyright March 2001, Crain Communications Inc.

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