The valuation of companies is subject of numerous debates both within economic theory as well as in practice. The valuation of Internet companies received, at least since the turn of the millennium, attention in literature. In the course of the New Economy, an increased interest in the success and the value of young and innovative Internet companies arose. However, the prospects of many of those companies have been misjudged. After it became apparent that a variety of internet-based business models were not economically viable and thus the high profit expectations could not be satisfied, the existing bubble burst, which led to a downturn in global stock markets and the disappearance of a large number of Internet companies.
Against this background, with the Web 2.0 terminology, a new flourishing Internet sector developed in recent years. The term Web 2.0 was used for the first time in 2005 following a conference about the developments of the Internet for the time period after the New Economy. It was assumed that the New Economy crisis was a turning point and Internet companies, which had continued successfully despite the crisis, would have certain characteristics. Thereon, the presence of Web 2.0 and its relevance was discussed in detail. In addition, this discussion was increased by a variety of corporate takeovers in the internet sector, which reminded with its achieved purchase prices on the New Economy Bubble of the new millennium. Thus, Google, Inc. acquired the video platform Youtube in 2006 for $1.65 billion, although the platform could not generate any significant revenues at that time. One year later, Microsoft paid $240 million for a 1.6% minority share of the online social network Facebook making it worth $15 billion on secondary market. In early 2011 Goldman Sachs invested even $450 million in the online social network giving the company a theoretical market value of $50 billion. At the same time Web 2.0 companies yield outstanding high market valuations in the course IPOs. Thus, the professional online networking site Linkedin.com was valued at $9 billion on its first day at New York Stock Exchange in May 2011, even though the company was not expected to be profitable that year.