Business news in brief

Yahoo, AOL detail B2B plans

Online titans Yahoo and America Online have both detailed their plans for launching an assault on the business-to-business e-commerce market. Yahoo's B2B Marketplace is a directory that offers equipment, inventory, and product listings from e-commerce sites, including FreeMarket.com's AssettExchange, an exchange for industrial parts, raw materials, and commodities; Imark.com, an exchange for used equipment; and Liquidation.com. The Yahoo B2B Marketplace offers features including fixed and variable pricing, pricing comparison, options search capability, tracking and monitoring of listings, and integration with certain Yahoo features. America Online's business-to-business ploy involves a three-year strategic alliance with PurchasePro.com to codevelop a business exchange for business users across AOL, AOL.com, CompuServe, and Netscape Netcenter. Users from companies of any size will be able to source, bid, negotiate, buy, and sell their products and services across multiple vertical and horizontal markets, with the exchange interfaces tailored specifically to the size and type of business, according to AOL. www.yahoo.com, www.aol.com PSINet buys Metamor for $3bInternet service provider PSINet has signed a definitive agreement to acquire IT services provider Metamor Worldwide in an all-stock transaction valued at about $3 billion ($US1.9 billion). Under the terms of the agreement, each share of Metamor will be exchanged for 0.9 shares of PSINet common stock, according to PSINet. Metamor has 4500 employees in 70 offices in the US, Europe, India, Asia and Australia, according to Metamor officials. In 1999, the company saw revenue of $US577 million, they said. Metamor will be integrated into PSINet, which will strengthen PSINet's ability to provide turnkey, outsourced services, which range from Web design to managed hosting, according to William Schrader, PSINet's chairman and chief operating officer. Given PSINet's customer base of 90,000, the integration of Metamor into PSINet will provide many new cross-selling opportunities, Schrader said. Only 5 per cent of PSINet's customers are "truly Web centric", so the rest are solid candidates for Metamor's services, he said. www.psinet.com, www.metamor.comBaan loses another directorBaan has lost another member of its supervisory board, the third board member to resign this month. Henk van den Breemen, a former general and chief of staff in the Dutch Armed Forces, resigned because of health reasons, Baan said. He had been a member of the supervisory board - which is the European equivalent of a US-style board of directors - for the past 12 months. The latest resignation comes three weeks after two US-based members stepped down after nine months on the supervisory board. Baan, which has lost money for six straight quarters and gone through three CEOs since mid-1998, now has just four active supervisory board members. A fifth member, Pierre Everaert, became Baan's acting CEO in January and has temporarily given up his seat on the supervisory board until a permanent CEO is hired. www.baan.com

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