B2B Steel Cage Match

PurchasePro fights accusations; OfficeDepot comes to their defense

February 8, 2001 -- T.S. Eliot contended that April was the cruelest month, but it's likely that the principals at PurchasePro would contest that contention, given the problems that the Las Vegas-based ASP has faced thus far this month.

The problems began when Barron's  published a fairly prickly article that charged PurchasePro with actions ranging from creative accounting to not having a CFO. PurchasePro vigorously defended itself against the article, calling it riddled with inaccuracies and innuendo. Chairman and CEO Charles E. Johnson Jr. said that the article was "rife with inaccuracies."

Not all is bad on the news front, however. At least one company has come to PurchasePro's defense. Barron's had cited the expiration of a partnership with Office Depot as a weakness. In response, Office Depot issued a statement that it has had a working partnership with PurchasePro.com for two years. The companies have been involved in a number of different marketing strategies both in Office Depot stores, catalogs, and its web site. The statement went on to say, The particular subscription agreement' cited in the Barrons article as having expired was always contemplated as a one-year marketing arrangement. Neither party had expected this particular arrangement to be renewed. Office Depot remains committed to working with PurchasePro.com, and has integrated its services throughout in its E-Commerce, Catalog, and retail store offerings to small business customers.