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SAP drops joint online marketplace plan

German business software giant SAP AG and US-based e-commerce specialist Commerce One have dropped their joint plans to develop future online marketplaces for customers.

The 20-month-old partnership was first announced at the SAP user conference in Las Vegas in June 2000 and since then SAP has increased its investment in the company.

Last June, SAP increased its stake in Commerce One to just over 20% and said it would inject up to $250m (£175m) in new investment capital into Commerce One.

Laurie Doyle Kelly, spokeswoman for SAP said: "We still have a 20% investment in Commerce One, that hasn't changed. What has changed is the marketplace. Two years ago, everyone thought that online exchanges were going to be the best thing and now that has changed. The customer is no longer interested."

Doyle Kelly stressed that customers currently using the MarketSite product from SAP and Commerce One would not be left high and dry. "Customers who have bought MarketSite from us will see no change," she said. "This decision is more about where we're heading rather than dismantling what has already been established."

In the near future, SAP would focus on private exchanges. "Though customers want exchanges, it's not necessarily about opening up everything to your partners, it's more internal," Doyle Kelly said..

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