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Despite the early excitement surrounding business-to-business (B2B) e-marketplaces during the Internet boom, many exchanges have since closed, citing their inability to generate sufficient revenue from thin transaction volumes. Discussions with industry participants revealed that many firms were carefully watching developments, but were reluctant to commit serious trading volumes to online channels. For the near future at least, many firms intend to continue to conduct the majority of their strategic transactions through traditional relationship-based contracting. Surviving e-marketplaces are trying hard to come up with compelling value propositions for participants. In this survey we explore the difficulties faced by e-marketplaces and discuss potential sources of value that will encourage their adoption by preserving and complementing long-term B2B relationships. We focus on the role of e-marketplaces in B2B transactions, where long-term relationships between buyers and sellers are important, as is the case in many supply chains. Our objective is to present an industry perspective that will help a business-oriented reader to develop an understanding of the opportunities and issues associated with e-marketplaces. In addition, we use real-world examples to motivate future research and applications in this area.
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