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Swisscom, Commerce One Plan Central European B2B Marketplace

Swiss telecommunications company Swisscom AG Tuesday unveiled plans to launch a business-to-business e-commerce marketplace in conjunction with Commerce One Inc.

The new service will be established to serve Switzerland and central Europe. Swisscom signed a deal with Commerce One to launch the marketplace based upon the latter's MarketSite solution. The idea is to link buyers and sellers, accelerating trade and reducing costs for all trading partners, Swisscom said.

Swisscom said its own purchasing department will be the first division to participate in the new online marketplace.

"We acknowledge the substantial return on investment and significant cost reductions that e-procurement can offer to Swisscom, as well as our customers and suppliers," said Jens Alder, CEO of Swisscom.

Swisscom said it will offer online procurement solutions designed for large companies first and later will extend the marketplace to include vertical markets and small and medium businesses. Logistics and auctions services also will be added later.

Financial arrangements with Commerce One were not disclosed.

The Swisscom Electronic Marketplace will give buyers and suppliers access to other trading partners around the world by means of the Commerce One Global Trading Web, which at present consists of the Commerce One MarketSite in North America, as well as regional MarketSite operating partners that include British Telecommunications in the U.K., NTT Communications in Japan, SESAMi.com in Southeast Asia, Cable & Wireless Optus in Australia, TD Bank in Canada. A new joint venture company is also being formed by Commerce One and Grupo Financiero Banamex-Accival, Mexico's main financial group.

General Motors and Commerce One already have established GM TradeXchange, a MarketSite portal for the automotive industry; and Shell and Commerce One are creating a joint venture to develop a MarketSite portal for the energy industry. Swisscom will take a seat on the Global Trading Web Advisory Council.