uBid Forms Business Auction Alliance

In a concerted effort to become a dominant player in the business-to-business auction market, uBid, Inc. (Nasdaq: UBID) announced Thursday that it formed an alliance with business magazine publisher, Cahners, to introduce real time electronic bidding to potentially millions of targeted readers.

The alliance will give uBid an inside track to holding online auctions for industrial equipment – initially in the printing, packaging, food service and paper conversion industries. The company said it is exploring the possibility of expanding to 12 additional industries that Cahners covers in its vast portfolio of publications and Web sites.

“This agreement represents a significant opportunity for uBid to become a leading online auction solution for industrial equipment and to expand our presence in the business-to-business market,” said uBid CEO, Greg Jones. “Our alliance with Cahners will clearly allow us to serve a very targeted audience of key decision-makers.”

The financial considerations of the alliance were not disclosed. The initial agreement is for three years.

Different Than Beanie Babies and Salt Shakers

UBid acknowledges the limitations to buying and selling heavy equipment online; not the least of which is viewing the machinery and shipping it. However, the company says it believes the alliance with Cahners can help it “revolutionize” the industry.

Cahners certainly provides an interested audience for uBid. The company – a division of British/Dutch publishing conglomerate Reed-Elsevier, – is the largest business-to-business magazine publisher in the country. It publishes 128 titles that have a combined readership of 6.5 million.

The publishing company also produces some 140 market-directed Web sites for professionals, so its knowledge of the online community is obviously quite extensive.

The company will promote uBid’s auctions across its range of products. Titles like Packaging Digest, Food Equipment and Supplies, Converting Magazine, Chain Leader and many more will promote the new site, expected in the first quarter of 2000.

Cahners will promote the auction sites, drive traffic there and sell the advertising. In return, the company will receive a commission on sales.

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