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PurchasePro.com and AOL ink B2B deal

America Online, Inc. (NYSE: AOL) and PurchasePro.com (Nasdaq: PPRO) announced Monday a 3-year deal to provide small businesses with a browser-based business exchange platform powered by PurchasePro.com's technology.

PurchasePro.com shares were at 160 on the Instinet electronic broker system before market open Monday, up from a Friday close of 151 3/4. The stock has been soaring along with other business-to-business issues recently, as everyone has been trying to grab a slice of the B2B pie. AOL shares closed Friday at 64 3/4.

Under the agreement, the companies will co-develop future technologies and business exchanges aimed at allowing businesses to increase sales and reduce supply costs.

The exchange will be for the business users across AOL, AOL.com CompuServe and Netscape Netcenter. PurchasePro.com will power the interactive marketplace with its browser-based e-commerce network, allowing users to source, bid, negotiate, buy and sell their products across multiple vertical and horizontal business markets.

The exchange interfaces will be tailored specifically to the size and type of business. The co-branded marketplace is expected to roll out by the end of second quarter 2000.

Under the deal, financial terms of which were not disclosed, PurchasePro.com will also distribute a co-branded version of AOL Instant Messenger on its Web site. The two companies will share advertising and transaction revenue and AOL will have the opportunity to earn performance-based warrants