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B2B Online Auction Giant to Establish Asian Operations

FreeMarkets, Inc., a US-based firm specializing in business-to-business online auctions, has announced plans to expand into Asia with operations in both Hong Kong and Singapore.

The expansion will enhance FreeMarkets' ability to provide its buyer clients with on-the-ground access to Asian suppliers of industrial parts, raw materials, commodities and services.

FreeMarkets' Asian operations will also focus on industrial buyers based in China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Korea, Indonesia and other Asian markets.

"Our clients rely on us to create successful online auctions around the world. In order to be successful, we must work with buyers and find suppliers globally," said Glen Meakem, chairman, president and CEO of FreeMarkets.

Meakem went on to explain that strategic purchasing for direct materials requires global reach and that his firm sought to provide global services to their multinational clients.

United Technologies Corporation is among the first clients to benefit from FreeMarkets' latest expansion. FreeMarkets is providing online auction services in Asia to United Technologies, a Fortune 50 provider of high technology products to the aerospace and building systems industries.

FreeMarkets created online auctions for approximately US$1 billion worth of purchase orders in 1998 and approximately US$1.4 billion worth of purchase orders in the nine months ended September 30, 1999.



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