One of the more controversial ways the Internet has impacted relations between retailers and suppliers has been the advent of Web-based reverse auctions. These auctions pit suppliers against each other in a contest to win over retailers with the lowest price -- a kind of reverse eBay. For retailers, the auctions represent an easy way to find low-cost sources of supply. For suppliers, though, the auctions may be shifting the balance of power a little too much in the retailer's favor, ...

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