VerticalNet to cut 25% of work force

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Horsham, Pa.--VerticalNet Inc. announced it will lay off 270 employees, or 25% of its work force. The move comes as VerticalNet increases its software development and marketing focus and moves away from its e-marketplace origins. The announcement of the firings came several months after it laid off 150 employees and a day after it received a $40 million investment from Microsoft Corp. Significantly, Microsoft also absolved VerticalNet from having to spend $5 million a year on advertising on Microsoft Network, part of a deal the companies entered last year, amid freer-spending times.
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