Sumitomo snaps up $30 million in VerticalNet stock

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Tokyo-Sumitomo Corp. has purchased $30 million in VerticalNet Inc. stock and will work with the Horsham, Pa.-based b-to-b exchange in building its non-U.S. projects. Sumitomo, a 400-year-old, $47 billion trader and distributor of commodities and industrial and consumer goods, will potentially help license and distribute VerticalNet products and services, according to a statement. The deal is the latest example of VerticalNet aggressively engaging itself in Japan, the world's second-largest economy; last July, it announced that it would build a series of Japanese b-to-b sites with Softbank E-Commerce Corp. About 40% of VerticalNet's site traffic comes from outside the U.S.
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