RealTime IT News

Microsoft Takes Stake in VerticalNet

Microsoft Corp. is taking a $100 million stake in online trading community VerticalNet Inc. as part of an alliance to offer business-to-business e-commerce services and content to enterprise businesses.

With the agreement announced late Thursday, (MSFT) Microsoft will also lend VerticalNet (VERT) distribution and marketing support through the MSN network, Microsoft bCentral small-business portal and Microsoft.com.

VerticalNet will integrate key Microsoft technologies including the Microsoft Windows 2000 Professional Edition operating system, Microsoft SQL Server and Microsoft Site Server Commerce Edition, as well as supporting Microsoft's Next Generation Windows Services and future enhancements to Microsoft's e-commerce technologies.

"This new alliance willprovide new and flexible ways for companies to buy and sell products on the Internet. Companies will have the choice of using a VerticalNet Storefront, E-Commerce Center, Auction technologies or other commerce features all built on top of Microsoft's platforms and Web-based services," said Mark Walsh, president and chief executive officer of VerticalNet.

"These tools give companies a commerce platform and instant access to communities of targeted buyers in any of our vertical markets."

VerticalNet Inc. owns and operates 55 industry-specific Web sites designed as online business-to-business communities, known as vertical trade communities. These vertical trade communities provide users with comprehensive sources of information, interaction and e-commerce.