Big Three Roll Out Online Purchasing Network - TheStreet

Updated from 1:22 p.m. EST

The Big Three automakers have agreed to form an independent company that will combine their purchasing networks, the companies announced Friday.

The new entity does not yet have a name and details of leadership have not been worked out.

The new venture -- backed by

General Motors

(GM) - Get Report

,

Ford Motor

(F) - Get Report

and

DaimlerChrysler

(DCX)

-- will give access to auto manufacturers and their suppliers, partners and dealers worldwide.

The companies said the venture, expected to begin operating in the first quarter, could be expanded to encompass other industries.

The three automakers will have equal ownership of the venture, which will operate independently of all three.

"As we continued to build our separate exchange sites, we quickly realized traditional, individual stand-alone models weren't the winning strategy for us, our industry, our suppliers and, ultimately, our customers," Richard Wagoner Jr., president and chief operating officer of General Motors, said in a statement.

Ford already had its own online supply network, called

Auto-xchange

, which is powered by

Oracle

(ORCL) - Get Report

. Meanwhile, GM had a previous agreement with

Commerce One

(CMRC)

for its

TradeXchange

. The new venture is expected to be powered by both Oracle and Commerce One.

GM said that it would give half its 20% stake in Commerce One to Ford in forming the independent company. The new company will be comprised of members from the Big Three, Commerce One and Oracle. "It is to help the suppliers manage the supply chain," said GM spokeswoman Kathy Tanner. "We really think it will reduce costs for everyone."

"What is critical on day one is the message about the economic transformation going on collectively," said Bob Austrian, an analyst at BofA Montgomery who rates Commerce One a strong buy. "In the old economy, the automakers are ferocious competitors. In the new economy, they combine to streamline and do it collaboratively. A hundred years of business practices is under seige and e-commerce and B2B technology will replace these within 10 years." Austrian's firm has done no underwriting for Commerce One.

Shares of all companies involved rose on the news. GM gained 1 13/16, or 2%, to close at 77 1/16. Ford gained 7/16, or 1%, to 42 15/16. DaimlerChrysler gained 1 9/16, or 3%, to 63 1/2.

Oracle rose 8 11/16, or 14%, to close at 70, and Commerce One gained 34 1/16, or 19%, to 213.