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New Net marketplace targets paint industry

Business-to-business exchange builder VerticalNet is teaming with chemical manufacturer Eastman Chemical to build an online marketplace for the paint and coating industry.

Business-to-business exchange builder VerticalNet said it is teaming with chemical manufacturer Eastman Chemical to build an online marketplace for the paint and coating industry.

Based on the already existing Web site Paintandcoatings.com, the new marketplace will target raw material suppliers, distributors and manufacturers as well as paint and coating makers and users, VerticalNet said.

Eastman, which manufactures and sells more than 400 chemicals, fibers and plastics, said it expects industry players to start using the marketplace over the next several months. The chemical company will be the exchange's first major tenant.

VerticalNet currently owns and operates 55 industry-specific Web sites designed as online business-to-business marketplaces, known as vertical trade exchanges. These vertical trade exchanges provide information, interaction and e-commerce services for buyers and sellers within specific industries.

Marketplace ventures are taking off lately because they are thought to help companies cut costs through improved price and inventory management. Analysts expect the business-to-business market to break the trillion-dollar mark by 2003.

Paintandcoatings.com initially launched as part of VerticalNet's portfolio of Web sites in August 1998, and taps an estimated $64 billion market with 3,600 suppliers.

Eastman Chemical earlier this month upped its investment in the giant online marketplace for the electronic chemicals industry, Chem Connect, and also takes part in online trading exchange PlasticsNet.

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