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Bob Meyer

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Barter�s Used In Various Creative Ways In Competitive Marketplace

Star Wars creator George Lucas� company Lucasfilm is quietly negotiating a huge barter deal that will see one company having the toy manufacturing rights to a new series of his upcoming films. Offers reportedly approaching $1 billion are on the table with Lucas getting a sizable equity (ownership) stake in the toy company with which he eventually barters.

Millions of �in-kind� computer equipment and other technology donations will be made by Intel Corp., to universities nationwide, over the next three years. (The donations, valued at retail prices, help popularize machines that use Intel chips.)

This type of trade is a typical win-win situation. Intel gets tax deductions as well as very positive publicity, in exchange for assisting the universities with needed equipment.

Vanity Fair is fighting the growing competition of magazine advertisers by constantly searching for ways of luring advertisers to their corner. Their latest barter twist involves a sister publication, a nationwide chain of weekly business tabloids which is going to publish a special magazine called Businesses to Watch that will feature top-line investment information on publicly traded companies.

The barter deal is this � each participating company, placing a minimum of two national ads in Vanity Fair, gets a bartered article about the company and its investment opportunities in the new business magazine.

Hopeful business startups are increasingly looking toward �angels,� rather than venture capital companies, for money. These angels are millionaires�many of them young, former technology executives.

Energetic, experienced and cash rich, they help finance and guide the next generation of Microsofts and Netscapes. In addition to supplying money, angels will often trade their expertise by consulting (for fees of $3,000 a day) and always will collect their payment in the form of company stock.

Two major auto suppliers, Eaton Corp. and Dana Corp., traded entire businesses recently. Dana got Eaton�s axle and brake business in exchange for Dana�s clutch business.

Experts say it�s a sign of how globalization is reshaping suppliers, forcing them to become more specialized to meet various automotive standards in different countries.

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