Four of the world's leading defense and aerospace companies confirmed that they will form a massive Web-based marketplace for aerospace parts and services, becoming the latest industrial heavyweight to move purchasing and supply activities to the Internet. Boeing Co., Lockheed Martin Corp., Raytheon Co. and Britain's BAE Systems, whose outlays total $71 billion a year, said they are partnering with Commerce One Inc. in the venture they expect to be operational by midyear.
The four lead participants do business with more than 37,000 suppliers, hundreds of airlines and many national governments, all of which will be invited to join the marketplace. The founding industry partners have agreed initially to take equal ownership stakes in the new entity. Commerce One will have a 5% equity position, and 20% has been set aside for other industry participants and employees of the venture.