When Commerce One Inc. reached its software agreement with Covisint in December, DaimlerChrysler was conspicuously absent from the deal.
In the agreement, General Motors and Ford Motor Co. took a combined 14 percent ownership stake in Commerce One. But DaimlerChrysler - the third major partner in the online trade exchange - did not.
What effect does this have on Covisint's operations? Probably none, says Kevin Prouty, a senior research analyst at AMR Research in Boston.
'I do think DaimlerChrysler does play slightly behind GM and Ford in strategic direction,' Prouty says. 'From a strategic-vision standpoint, DaimlerChrysler could very well be playing kind of a secondary role.'
GM and Ford each will receive 14.4 million shares of Commerce One common stock - not newly issued shares but reallocated shares GM originally was given as part of an earlier agreement with Commerce One. The new agreement essentially splits those shares equally. Each automaker's shares are valued at about $630 million.
'Those warrants were promised before DaimlerChrysler came into the Covisint picture last February,' says Jeff Leestma, a DaimlerChrysler spokesman.
'Whether we take some sort of stake (in Commerce One) in the future, I can't say,' Leestma says. 'It doesn't diminish our role. The three companies are still in it on an equal basis. We're not backing away.'
GM, Ford and DaimlerChrysler own equal, undisclosed stakes in Covisint.
'The Fortune 1 and Fortune 4 companies - two of the leading partners in Covisint - have a significant vested interest in the success of Commerce One,' says Chuck Donchess, executive vice president at Commerce One.
Covisint has been working with 30 to 35 automotive suppliers during the development of the marketplace, says Rico Digirolamo, Covisint's interim CEO.
'We are poised right now, with the signing of this agreement, to begin to address and start to talk to some of the smaller-tier suppliers and get them signed up,' Digirolamo says. 'There's a lot of interest there. This gives many suppliers an opportunity to get themselves on the Web.'