Commerce One and Swiss Telco To Form B2B Marketplace

Business-to-business (B2B) e-commerce provider Commerce One (Nasdaq: CMRC) and Swiss telecom provider Swisscom (NYSE: SCM) announced Tuesday that they will join forces to establish a B2B online marketplace in Europe.

Swisscom will launch a marketplace based upon the Commerce One MarketSite solution, the companies said, linking buyers and sellers throughout Switzerland and Eastern Europe. The company will launch the marketplace in steps — first for larger businesses and then for medium and small-sized businesses — and will eventually enhance the marketplace with logistics services and B2B auction features.

Global Network

Commerce One said that the Swisscom marketplace will be linked up with buyers and sellers around the world through its Global Trading Web, a network that includes its MarketSite in North America and regional sites operated by partners British Telecom in the UK, NTT Communications in Japan, in Southeast Asia, Cable & Wireless Optus in Australia, and a new joint venture company being formed by Commerce One and Mexican financial group Grupo Financiero Banamex-Accival.

“Through this new relationship, we will have the ability to increase electronic B2B trading in Europe and on a global scale, as the Global Trading Web continues to expand,” said Commerce One CEO Mark Hoffman.

For Private, For Public

Commerce One, which reported third quarter revenues of $10.4 million (US$) and a net loss of exactly the same amount, is one of a number of companies that are expanding the B2B marketplace at an unprecedented rate.

Like competitors FreeMarkets, Inc. (Nasdaq: FMKT) and Internet Capital Group (Nasdaq: ICGE), Commerce One is staking its claim to a business that Goldman Sachs predicts will generate over $1 trillion dollars by 2004.

In addition to offering its services to private companies, Commerce One also has its eye on the public sector. Earlier this month, it announced the formation of a public sector group to offer procurement services to federal, state and local governments and agencies, as well as academic institutions. The company estimates that the sector generates $400 billion annually.

Domestically, Commerce One has sales offices in California, Colorado, Massachusetts and New York. It has international offices in Toronto, Paris, London, Amsterdam, Hamburg, Copenhagen and Cape Town.

The company also recently announced that it has established a trade exchange with General Motors for the automotive industry and one with Shell Oil for the energy industry. Both ventures are viewed as important and potentially lucrative for Commerce One.

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