Two organizations that share a goal to advance the adoption of e-commerce have merged. CommerceNet, a vendor-neutral technology consortium that helps businesses create electronic trading networks, and the Open Network for Commerce Exchange (ONCE), a business-to-business alliance of electronic trading networks, will combine the strengths of the two non-profit organizations, according to a statement issued by the two California-based organizations. The merger, explains Thomas J. Westbrook, head of ONCE's Business Services Committee and president of W3Net, which operates an electronic marketplace for the wood products industry, is mutually beneficial. "W3Net became involved in ONCE because it is the best forum to exchange ideas and network with leading practitioners worldwide about the development of best practices in e-commerce," Westbrook says. "The fact that ONCE and CommerceNet are becoming one adds more weight to an already influential organization." Under the merger agreement, Mountain View-based CommerceNet will create a new membership division, which includes at its core the existing ONCE organization, its members, programs and employees. "This merger builds on our common goals of making interoperability a reality for global businesses," says Kevin Surace, CEO of CommerceNet.