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"Chaos by any name is chaos, and U S Airways will not operate under the threat of constant disruption." -- Statement from the airline vowing to shut down in case of a walkout by flight attendantsEdited by Robert McNattReturn to top

A Web Site for Minority Suppliers

Former General Motors Corp. marketing chief Roy Roberts didn't stay retired very long. Only weeks after leaving GM, where he was the highest ranking African-American executive in the auto business, Roberts is venturing into dot-com land with partner Gary Wasserman, president of Allied Metals.

In a plan unveiled on Mar. 21, the two aim to launch a business called M-Xchange this June. It will link minority-owned suppliers, for autos and other industries, in an online trade exchange. The hope is that thousands of small minority-owned firms will get a better shot at big corporate contracts. Says Roberts: "We're talking about building access and a level playing field."

By 2003, large companies are projected to make at least $2.7 trillion in online purchases, with 5% of that amount coming from minority suppliers. That gives M-Xchange a potential market of $135 billion. The firm would earn a fee on each transaction.By David Welch; Edited by Robert McNattReturn to top

Net Stocks: Your Guess or Mine

If you're confused about the future of the Internet stocks in your portfolio, don't feel too bad. Recent opinion from Wall Street's Net gurus shows you're not alone.

In a Mar. 22 Webcast, Morgan Stanley Dean Witter Net sage Mary Meeker ventures the wisdom that 90% of Net stocks are overvalued and 10% are dramatically undervalued. So she's telling investors to buy the leaders in different Net sectors, such as Amazon or Yahoo! Still, she warns that the online world is changing more rapidly than any new industry ever has, and those leaders might change. Her advice: "Assume that any investment can go up or down 50% in any given week."

Then there's Alberto Vilar, manager of Amerindo Technology Fund, up 249% last year. He calls Net stocks overvalued and looks to see most of them fall 30% to 50% before June 30. After that, he says, it's on to new highs.

Meanwhile, Merrill Lynch analyst Henry Blodget called stock valuations "reasonable." But he also warns that "the majority of today's pure-play Internet companies will never make money and won't exist in three to five years." So sell. Or buy. Or hold. After all, that's what the experts recommend.By Geoffrey Smith; Edited by Robert McNattReturn to top

Will the E-Mag Bubble Burst?

In March, Britain's Haymarket Management Publications launched the U.S. edition of its digital marketing magazine, Revolution. It's just the latest indicator of the boom in e-business mags. The ad-fat monthly Business 2.0 (circulation 210,000) goes biweekly in May--when Time Inc. brings out its monthly eCompany Now. They're all competing with the weekly The Industry Standard (circ. 125,000) and BUSINESS WEEK e.biz (after page 83), a supplement that was launched in March, 1999.

Right now, there is enough business for all of them, says Adscope, a research outfit. The 1999 revenue from ad pages in six leading e-biz mags, including The Industry Standard and Business 2.0, was $133.2 million, more than double that of 1998. Why? New dot-coms badly need the ad exposure, says Allen Banks, a Saatchi & Saatchi media director.

But if the Internet bubble bursts, there could be a shakeout. These mags often boost circulation through giveaways. Only Business 2.0 is 100% paid subscribers. "The safest thing to predict is that the vast majority of these publications will not survive," says Banks. Media buyers say The Industry Standard, with its strong Web presence, and Business 2.0, are the most likely stand-alone mags to make it over the long haul.By Alex Salkever; Edited by Robert McNattReturn to top


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