FreeMarkets Grabs Dealer, Buyer Network

In a week that has seen Yahoo! Inc. and
America Online Inc. launch online
marketplaces, FreeMarkets Inc.
Wednesday made two more B2B purchases.


FreeMarkets paid $18 million in cash for privately held firms, Surplus
Record Inc. and SR Auction Inc.


With the deal, FreeMarkets (FMKT)
also gains an online surplus asset trade site for business surplus,
new and used industrial equipment and machinery and machine tools.
FreeMarkets will also acquire 200,000 dealers and end-users and over 50,000
listings for assets worth more than $750 million.


FreeMarkets is targeting industrial firms, which are increasingly turning
to the Internet to sell their surplus equipment and inventory.


Glen Meakem, chairman and chief executive officer of FreeMarkets said his
company chose Surplus Record and SR Auction because of their “world-class
reputation among dealers and end-users and over 76 years of industry
experience.”


The acquisition of Surplus Record and SR Auction follows FreeMarkets’ recent
purchase of iMark.com, a leading
business-to-business online marketplace for asset recovery.


In recent weeks, industry analysts’ estimates that the worldwide market for
surplus equipment and inventory is worth $300 billion annually have sent
heavyweights AOL (AOL)
and Yahoo! (YHOO)
scrambling to grab pieces of the business-to-business marketplace pie.


Yahoo! launched its marketplace Monday with DoveBid Inc. as the featured
sponsor and listing provider. Not to be outdone, AOL Monday partnered with
PurchasePro.com (PPRO)
to build B2B exchanges.

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