Commerce One

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Commerce One was a pioneering e-commerce company based in Walnut Creek, California.[1] It was famous for its stock price rise during the dot-com bubble. At its peak, the company had 4,000 employees and a market capitalization of $21.5 billion.[2][3]


The company was founded in 1994 as DistriVision by Tom Gonzales and his son, Tom Gonzales Jr.[4] It was renamed Commerce One in 1997 after Mark Hoffman became CEO.[3]

In 1999, the company acquired Veo Systems from Asim Abdullah for $300 million.[5]

On its first trading day after its Initial public offering in 1999, the company's stock price rose 190%.[6]

In 2001, co-founder Tom Gonzales Jr. died of a rare cancer and left his stake in the company in a trust to help the needy. His father was later accused of mismanaging trust funds.[4]

In October 2002, the company announced that it planned to lay off 400 employees, which was 36% of its staff.[7]

One of the company's technologies was SOX, an XML schema technology that influenced the development of the W3C's XML Schema language, and the Java Architecture for XML Binding (JAXB)

Bankruptcy and sale of the company[edit]

In September 2004, the company had a cash balance of $300,000.[8]

The company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on October 6, 2004 and emerged from bankruptcy 2 months later.[2][9]

In December 2004, a portion of its patent portfolio was sold by a bankruptcy court to JGR Acquisitions, a subsidiary of Novell, for $15.5 million.[9][10] The remaining business interests, including all remaining intellectual property rights to the software, together with a patent license from JGR, were sold to new investors that continued to operate the company as Commerce One.

Perfect Commerce acquired Commerce One on February 7, 2006 .[11]


  1. ^ "Commerce One soars after 3-for-1 split". CNET. 
  2. ^ a b "Commerce One rises from dot-ashes". San Francisco Business Times. March 6, 2005. 
  3. ^ a b Hamm, Steve (February 3, 2003). "Online Extra: From Hot to Scorched at Commerce One". Bloomberg BusinessWeek. 
  4. ^ a b SIMERMAN, JOHN (July 13, 2007). "Charity sues over legacy of dot-com". East Bay Times. 
  5. ^ "Commerce One Buys Veo Systems". January 19, 1999. 
  6. ^ "IPO a smash? Ask Jeeves". CNN Money. July 1, 1999. 
  7. ^ Gilbert, Alorie (October 4, 2002). "Commerce One cuts deep". CNET. 
  8. ^ Smith, Rich (September 27, 2004). "The Fall of Commerce One". The Motley Fool. 
  9. ^ a b Meland, Marius (May 3, 2005). "Mystery Solved: Novell Behind Acquisition Of Commerce One Patents". Law360. 
  10. ^ Meland, Marius (December 7, 2004). "Mysterious Bidder Snaps Up Commerce One Patents For $15.5M". Law360. 
  11. ^ "Perfect Commerce Acquires Commerce One" (Press release). PRNewswire. February 7, 2006.