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In general, neutral e-marketplaces serve an important need. But in complex environments, such as the process plant industry, information networks appear to be more suitable for industry advancement.
At least three factors make information networks superior to e-marketplaces in this setting. First, an e-marketplace is designed as a business-to-consumer concept--almost like a shopping mall. The specialized equipment needed in the process plant industry, however, cannot be supplied by your typical department store. The e-marketplace model assumes that equipment buyers and engineers do business in a mall-type atmosphere. They do not.
Second, an e-marketplace must …