BtoB to shed distribution arm

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New York-based, an Internet start-up in the promotional products industry, said Friday that it has put its Cogear distribution arm on the block. The move was spurred by's desire to be a neutral e-marketplace for the promotional products industry, open to all suppliers. With an active distribution arm, it could not maintain neutrality, said. The move is a potential blockbuster. It comes on the same day that promotional products giant HA-LO Industries Inc., Chicago, completes the purchase of Internet portal Those two merged companies are also setting out to build an exchange, but Ha-Lo's mighty fulfillment distribution arm is a central part of the strategy. And it could spur other Internet marketplace operators in other industries to shed their distribution operations to maintain Switzerland status in an Internet e-marketplace.
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