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  • Wednesday, September 13, 2000 1:24PM IST (7:54AM GMT)
Automotive business-to-business exchange on track to launch
New Delhi, Delhi, India:  Covisint today announced that the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has concluded its comprehensive investigation, opening the way for the automotive industry's planned business-to-business trading exchange to take the next steps toward becoming operational. The FTC communicated word of the completion of its probe to lawyers representing DaimlerChrysler, Ford Motor Company, General Motors, Renault/Nissan, Commerce One and Oracle, the sponsors of the initiative. "Covisint is poised to create a leading global e-business trading exchange, "said Alice Miles, Covisint Executive Planning Team. "The completion of the FTC review represents a significant milestone in our efforts to establish a transformational business-to-business entity." Miles added, "While the FTC's inquiry was extended and thorough, Covisint has been carefully planned from the beginning to address potential concerns that might arise as a result of major automotive companies forming a business-to-business exchange. "After a thorough investigation, the FTC understood that the parties forming Covisint have always intended to operate in full compliance with the antitrust laws," Miles continued. "The agency was able to verify that through review of our business plan and other documents and through extensive interviews with participants in the industry. Meanwhile, Covisint product planning continues on schedule with availability to potential customers following completion of all remaining regulatory reviews." "The completion of the Federal Trade Commission's investigation of Covisint bodes well for business-to-business e-commerce in general and the automotive industry in particular," said Don Walker, President and CEO, Magna International, a leading automotive supplier. "The exchange will allow the automotive industry to transact business, on a global basis, through implementation and use of Internet-based technology. The initial products and services offered by Covisint will enable the industry to improve the effectiveness of the procurement process, provide the automotive supply chain with improved production requirement visibility and, eventually, collaborate on simultaneous product design," said Walker. "With the completion of the regulatory review process, I am sure the future customers of Covisint will become more involved in understanding and utilizing the products and its services," he concluded. Covisint still must wait for the Bundeskartellamt (BKA), the German government's antitrust regulatory agency, to complete its review of Covisint. Successful completion of that review will enable Covisint to begin global operations. The parties are addressing all issues raised by the BKA to allow its investigation to be concluded as soon as possible. A recording of the conference call held by Covisint to discuss the implications of the Federal Trade Commission's decision to close its investigation is available until 8pm GMT today on 001 402-998-0894. About Covisint Announced in February 2000, Covisint is an automotive e-business trading exchange being formed by DaimlerChrysler, Ford Motor Company, General Motors, and Renault/Nissan. Covisint will provide original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and suppliers the ability to reduce costs in their respective supply chains and bring efficiencies to their business operations. Covisint's temporary headquarters are in Southfield, Mich., and it expects to establish offices in Europe and Asia. Since being announced in February, a number of automotive suppliers have publicly expressed their support for Covisint. Those companies include: A.K. Steel, ArvinMeritor, Autoliv, BASF, Dana Corporation, Delphi Automotive, Denso International America, Dura, Ernie Green Corporation, Federal Mogul, Flex-n-Gate, Freudenberg NOK, Johnson Controls, Inc., Lear Corporation, Magna International, Plastech, Tower Automotive and Yazaki International.
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