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Ariba Looks to Enhance B2B Services

Business e-commerce firm Ariba, Inc. Thursday acquired TRADEX Technologies, Inc. in a move to add to its business-to-business services.

Privately-held TRADEX provides a variety of tools and services for net markets, specifically designed to enable multiple buyers and sellers to exchange goods, services and information in online trading communities.

Net markets are sites on the Internet that bring together fragmented groups of buyers and suppliers to create larger, more efficient markets with greater buying power, according to TRADEX. They include vertical marketplaces that focus on specific industries and/or direct goods and horizontal marketplaces that invite other buyers in shared corporate exchange.

Ariba (ARBA) will pay approximately $1.86 billion in stock to acquire TRADEX. The companies expect the transaction to close in the second quarter of 2000.

With the acquisition, Ariba said it form a new business unit to focus on net market services. Already considered a front-runner in the B2B e-commerce space, the acquisition is part of Ariba's strategy to create "the industry's first best-of-breed global B2B e-commerce platform."

"Net markets are a core pillar in our strategy to extend Ariba's leadership in buy-side e-commerce to leadership across business-to-business e-commerce, period," said Keith Krach, Ariba's chairman and chief executive officer.

"The TRADEX team and solutions will accelerate Ariba's time to market in this fast-moving strategic high ground, giving Ariba the opportunity to partner with net market makers in a broad array of industries and geographies."

Thursday's acquisition adds to the services Ariba acquired when it purchased TradingDynamics Inc. in November for $400 million. TradingDynamics provides services for business customers including auctions, reverse auctions, requests for quotes and exchanges.