The Internet may or may not be leading us into a glowing future destined to transform the lives of each and every one of us, but this electronic "Wonderland" is changing commerce and keeping companies scrambling Red Queen-fashion-running as fast as they can just to keep in place.

Take, for instance, the October merger between Harbinger and Premenos Corporations. Harbinger has been a respectable electronic commerce provider; but to hit the Internet business fast and hard-and keep its place in the electronic commerce industry-it's been acquiring companies left and right this year. Harbinger is banking that having established products in today's tough markets is much more favorable than investing in R&D, followed by expensive, uncertain marketing efforts.

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