Two of the largest internet exchanges have joined forces to fund a "megahub", facilitating cheap and easy communication between members of separate trading exchanges. GlobalNetXchange, which is retailer led, and manufacturer-led Transora are now inviting other exchanges to invest in the new entity, which GNX chief executive Joe Laughlin described as "a bit like a telephone exchange" or operator for members of trading exchanges. Rather than exchanges forming costly links with each other, or individual companies setting up links to multiple exchanges, the megahub puts everyone in touch with everyone else through a single connection. For example, a retailer on GNX can send an EDI purchase order to a trading partner on Transora via the megahub, which can translate the EDI message into another language so that the recipient can understand it. "It's old world versus new," said Transora chief executive Judy Sprieser, who was keen to open up Transora to a broader investor base to include both consumer products suppliers and retailers. "We want to lose our manufacturer-centric identity. Inter-operability between exchanges is the only way to make the promise of the internet a reality for businesses." To support its activities in promotions management, Transora has also bought e-coupon firm Planet U, which works with retailers and manufacturers to deliver targeted online promotions. Following the selection of Syncra Systems as a collaborative planning, forecasting and replenishment technology provider, pilot auctions of the exchange's promotions planning services will commence early this year. {{NEWS }}