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Mercata Shelves IPO

Bellevue-based Mercata Inc. an e-tailer with the backing of technology industry heavy Paul Allen, co-founder of Microsoft, pulled a $100 million IPO Wednesday citing poor market conditions.

In a Jan. 2 letter to the Securities and Exchange Commission, the company -- which had been set to go public on March 9 under the symbol MCTA -- said it would not pursue the IPO at this time "based upon changed circumstances regarding the securities markets."

Mercata offers Internet-based demand aggregation services. It had planned to use the funds raised through the IPO for working capital and general corporate purposes like marketing and product development.

The IPO's underwriters included Goldman Sachs, Bear Stearns and Robertson Stephens.