In recent years, distributed development has become more and more common practice. As a result, investigations into the efficacy of distributed meeting systems in supporting group work in requirements engineering are needed. This paper reports on the results of a laboratory experiment in which video-conferencing and computer support were used in requirements negotiation. The study used a requirements negotiation task and compared the performance of local groups to those in four distributed configurations of the design team. Contrary to the belief that face-to-face contact increases performance, our findings suggest that groups in face-to-face meetings performed no better than the electronically mediated groups. Moreover, we identified a particular distributed group configuration that significantly improved performance across all distributed conditions and was qualitatively more conducive to requirements negotiation than face-to-face meetings. The results suggest that the electronic mediation reduced the transmission of socio-emotional cues in the interaction, thus enabling groups to have a more rational approach to conflict resolution in requirements engineering.