Misunderstandings, apathy, malaise, and benign neglect. When the leaders refuse to engage, an industry is whisked from underfoot.

I just recently participated in a perplexing on-line exchange with a someone who could only be called an “EDI emeritus”; They just don’t get it. Few do. But we in this market are in for a world of hurt.

In the matter of GXS Inc. The DOJ antitrust division passed a HSR review of e-commerce giant GXS inc. a  PE Funded leviathan the likes of which have never been seen in the EDI Communications sector.

The HSR review focused on Inovis Inc., which GXS intended to acquire, after of course previously acquiring two other top EDI networks – with Inovis under their belt, and with the DOJ’s blessing, GXS now with impunity is bumping off the smaller innovators, such as Loren Data Corp, and featuring the decapitation, on a prominent web page.
GXS 500M annum, Loren Data Corp, 1M annum. Something seems strange here.
Yes, the DOJ helped to create a monopoly, one that is now almost  unstoppable; and all along, Loren Data Corp has been proxy for an entire class of competitive EDI service providers  – they  use Loren Data ECGrid because it was built for scale, enhanced subscriber management, low-downtime, and high volume  message transfer.
Shame on you DOJ, shame on the entire antitrust division. the exploitation of “peer Routing” is the sharpest blade of the monopolist, and DOJ was warned that even before the Inovis merger, that the management at GXS had started their dirty routing shenanigans as far back as 2002.

My next stop as a watchdog? I’m going to DOJ’s IG – who at this point can doubt that the behaviors evinced by GXS are violations of the Sherman act, and that an entire communications sector has been abandoned by the FCC, abandoned by DOJ, and a private party, a PE funded Golem, is now the arbiter of who can , and who cannot enter the EDI Comms market as a peer network – for heaven’s sake, when did we, as a nation, as an industry, agree to put a PE fund, essentially, in as the gatekeeper to a communications sector that predates the Internet. Where the hell is the FCC in all this? Cowards.

For with the subscriber populations of three major VANs purchased under the DOJ’s obviously numb eyes…GXS, a private company with well over 65% of all EDI traffic bound for the fortune 2000 retailer supply chains mandating EDI compliance while the suppliers requiring transit to these GXS addresses are dispersed among the  37 odd VANs and service providers – and it was the EDI Service Providers who first economized EDI enablement for the smaller suppliers.

Many  EDI service providers ( and virtual VANs, and specialty OEM and B2B Cloud ventures) depend on Loren Data Corp for message handling, and that means that GXS, in doing its utmost to kill  the company powering these selfsame B2B “far-seeing thinkers” i.e., the Service Providers….means that GXS hates them for taking these suppliers as  Spokes away from them…..because the combination of Loren Data ECGrid, the power of that engine, plus the front end expertise of the service providers and virtual VANs (VANs using the ECGridOS API, a Loren Data industry first) have created the most potent competitive counterweight to the GXS monolith…..such that the target painted on Loren Data Corp’s founder’s back…has GXS written all over it as its author….because they can’t allow a level playing field to be perpetuated.

Why? No serious industry insider even gave a thought that the GXS claptrap of “daisy chaining”, a whole cloth creation of GXS fiction, ever had the slightest credibility. I would beg the Judiciary on bended knee that they ask for a true orientation of how IP-based packet communications actually work – and how application based messaging routinely drops a payload at one data center, and how such payloads are relayed around the country, around the world, and it happens within GXS’ gates and with their own clients. Indeed. Swallowed whole by the Courts without enquiry nor discovery, and nary a touch of plaintiff’s deference we hear touted in the accepted legal primers of antitrust.

It is truly the end of the era of trust-busting,


So, a tip of the hat to The DOJ Antitrust Division, it’s not every day that a Federal Agency charged with preventing monopolist behavior  – actually creates a real monopoly…..and this one concerns the electronic purchase orders and invoices of the most of nations Retailers, Logistics providers, and manufacturers…..

So, beyond bullying the sector’s only API provider, and acknowledged thought leader, the VAN in my opinion, run hands on by our market’s foremost Communications Architect, beyond  exploitation of this  data stream, which has  now been consolidated beyond any sane measure with the explicit assistance of the DOJ……and with that accomplished, and when all of the EDI Data in flight is held captive by GXS, they will move past Loren Data to other VANs…..cutting interconnect after interconnect…..then I will testify before congress or anywhere they will hear me, starting with the IG of the DOJ, and I will say….”I warned them – and many others also alerted DOJ,. FCC, FTC….but none heard”.

Loren Data is just the beginning. Want to see how dirty GXS plays……see here.

I rest my case. Never before in the history of the VAN market, has any network issued such blatant, damaging, lies, and disparaging headlines and links….that with the megaphone of the size held by “the biggest….big VAN”, has already put a damper on the best VAN in the market bar none, Loren Data ECGrid.

Any party with the clout to take action in re-affirming competition in the EDI Communications market, especially large GXS  Clients that feel poorly served – I have a clear pathway for you. Move to any other VAN besides GXS that honors interconnects with Loren Data Corp ECGrid. And, that is all of the other VANs. Case closed.

Good work DOJ!

It now will remain for the next brave generation of application engineers, to take the battle to the standards bodies, or the W3C, wherever…and create an application to application routing system for EDI and all else that is data layer network bound, and create a new, permissive routing regime that cannot be abrogated by any one company – and I know it can be done, and when it finally accomplished, the market will be free-er, and capital can come back to B2B, and no one private entity will be able to exploit its layer seven, envelope segment routing machinery, against another peer.

Alan Wilensky, Product Analyst and a Trusted Advocate for B2B’s Bright New Future   

Skype: awilensky