NTT, Microsoft, Compaq plan Japanese e-commerce JV

NTT Data Corp., Microsoft Corp. and Compaq Computer Corp. are in final talks to set up a one-stop shop for corporations wanting to start online businesses, NTT Data and Microsoft said Thursday.

The new joint venture has been tentatively named "Business Infinity" and will provide network and information systems, payment settlement systems, storage and delivery services, said the companies.

The capital for the new company is expected to be 400 million yen (US$3.2 million) and more than a half of the company will be owned by NTT Data, according to Microsoft. Sales at the new venture are expected to hit 3 billion yen by fiscal 2003, said Microsoft.

At present, a company which wants to start a new e-business needs to make a deal with a financial institution for payment settlements and a logistics company for delivery services. By offering everything in one package, the new business model the three companies plan to offer allows newcomers to start online business in a shorter period of time and at lower cost, said Shigeru Nagakiwa, a spokesman for NTT Data.