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Artnet & The Price of Everything

Hans Neuendorf
Artnet plays a central role in the market, but its rise hasn’t been easy, and much of the challenge seems to have come from Hans Neuendorf, himself. Photo: Taylor Dafoe/Courtesy of Artnet
Marion Maneker
April 23, 2024

The other day, I asked a dealer about Artnet, the ubiquitous German-owned but U.S.-based art market media and data business, and the company’s prospects for the future. It wasn’t a leading question, but it was an increasingly relevant one. After all, the 35-year-old company’s guiding personality and founder, Hans Neuendorf, is now in his late 80s. After taking the company public on the German stock exchange, in 1999, the stock has fallen from €46 to €5.85 per share—an 87 percent drop. 

Meanwhile, the company, which now has a market capitalization of around $37 million, has been beset by roiling turmoil surrounding what Hans pays himself in his emeritus existence (about $325,000) and what his son, now the C.E.O., earns (a little more). (Two of Neuendorf’s other children work as executives for Artnet, and a fourth did work for Artnet but left to become a Contemporary art specialist at Sotheby’s.) On the straightforward business side, there is frustration among users and animosity within the investor group over Artnet’s failure to modernize its janky tech.