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Consultancy leaders aid Net commerce

Andersen Consulting and BBN joined to help companies do business on the Net.

Consultancy leaders Andersen Consulting and BBN announced a joint venture today to help Fortune 500 firms conduct electronic commerce and other business operations on the Internet.

Andersen and BBN will each have equity in the new, as yet unnamed, corporation. Officials say the venture's principal offering will be a turnkey business utility that provides an intranet infrastructure, complete with firewall and ability to processing reliable electronic business processes such as billing and order processing.

BBN is expected to pay $5 million for a 12.5 percent stake in the venture. Andersen's 87.5 percent stake is valued at $35 million.

Officials say they expect the venture to be fully operational by September, with services aimed at a number of specific industries, including travel and tourism, healthcare, and utilities.