Business-to-business e-commerce software supplier i2 has said it will pull the plug on unsuccessful Internet trading exchanges.
Steve Weller, industry marketing director at i2, said the company would ditch a trading site if it was not performing. "We haven't had to make that decision yet, but I suspect we will," he said.
Some analysts are concerned at the stance i2 is taking. "This is serious news for anyone looking to join an online market," said Alexander Drobik, research director at GartnerGroup.
"Companies are betting on the future. That risk becomes higher if vendors are not sure that they will focus their attention on sites."
Although the majority of Web sites are still waiting to make a profit, there are some success stories, such as Tesco.net.
Internet trading exchanges have been catapulted into prominence this year as the main vehicle for delivering business-to-business e-commerce.
Forrester Research predicts they will be responsible for 53 per cent of all online trade in five years.
Sanjiv Sidhu, chief executive at i2, said its recent alliance with IBM and Ariba would help companies to "build and launch business-to-business markets, enabling customers to jump to the next curve in the business-to-business economy".
Therefore i2 is vetting companies before signing joint online ventures.
"We won't go with some companies if we can't see revenues coming," said Weller.
"We are targeting large companies," said Chris Phillips, director of European marketing at i2.
"In the worst-case scenario when no one else joins the community, we'll have three or four companies doing their procurement through the site."
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