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Channel.com Briefs: HP, Fairmarket, B2B

Channel.com Briefs: HP, Fairmarket, B2B

HP goes service shopping

Hewlett-Packard has confirmed it is currently discussing the finer details of an acquisition of PricewaterhouseCoopers' (PwC's) global management and information technology consultancy practice.

In a deal which attempts to rival IBM's introduction of its Global Services arm (IBM GSA), HP is attempting to buy the business to broaden the "e-services" component of its solutions portfolio, which combines professional services with information appliance and Internet infrastructure sales.

Terms of the transaction are yet to be agreed upon by both parties, and neither is yet bound by any contractual obligations over purchase. HP has indicated it is currently negotiating a cash-and-stock acquisition of the PwC arm of around $US18 billion.

Being that PwC is HP's accountants, if the transaction goes ahead, the accountancy contract will be terminated in line with auditor independence requirements. The deal may also risk PwC's reputation for consulting independence, as it may come to be seen as a sales arm for HP hardware.

Fairmarket bids for SOLD

Online auction software provider Fairmarket has announced it has been chosen to host SOLD.com.au, Australia's largest auction site.

The operations for the relaunched SOLD site are to be hosted at Fairmarket's Asia-Pacific data centre in Sydney, after one gigabyte of customer and historical data was migrated from the previous hosting site in the US.

SOLD.com.au has approximately 140,000 registered members, and has sold over $17 million worth of goods since the site's launch in July 1999. However, its parent company, F2 (Fairfax Interactive Network), posted a $40.7 million loss for the year ended June 30, with most of these losses coming from its Internet businesses.

B2B extends medical ASP

B2B.net Technology has announced the extension of the healthcare management applications it offers Asia-Pacific medical firms under the ASP model.

It has purchased the global intellectual property rights to management software from e-business health solutions supplier, e-MedSoft.com.

The software manages the clinical records, scheduling and billing functions of medical practices and is compatible with all Government healthcare systems in the region, including Australia's Medicare.

B2B.net intends to integrate these applications into its existing ASP arrangements. The company hopes that the software becomes standard for small-to-medium sized medical practices, so that patient records can be exchanged between relevant practices.


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