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PurchasePro rises on Hilton deal

    PurchasePro.com Inc. (Nasdaq: PPRO) announced a deal with Hilton Hotels Corp. (NYSE:HLT) Thursday to create a network for the hospitality industry and establish the industry's largest purchasing exchange.

    The network is expected to launch this summer and be fully available to Hilton's hotel system by the end of the year.

    Shares in PurchasePro.com were up 1 31/64 to 22 3/4, , or 7 percent. The stock has taken a roller-coaster ride, along with other B2B stocks such as CommerceOne (Nasdaq: CMRC), VerticalNet (Nasdaq: VERT) and Ariba (Nasdaq: ARBA) over the past months.

    Currently, Hilton, whose brands include Doubletree and Embassy Suites, buys more than $1.5 billion per year in goods and services through thousands of suppliers. These transactions will migrate to an online Web-based system which will use PurchasePro.com's e-commerce engine, the companies said in a statement.

    Hilton expects "significant purchasing and operational benefits'' through the deal, which will link Hilton's hotels, other hospitality companies and suppliers.

    The number of private e-marketplaces could soon number more than 7,500, according to Internet research firm Gartner Group.

    "While newcomers are simply planning a marketplace solution for the hospitality industry, PurchasePro.com has been providing a robust and usable bid and purchase network since its inception more than three years ago,'' PurchasePro.com President Christopher Carton said in a release.