"The appeal of an exchange is its ability to lower transaction costs,
especially in fragmented markets where prices are difficult to compare.
For instance, information on laboratory chemicals is so hard to find that a
chemist can spend five hours a week thumbing thick paper catalogues. The
price of a single chemical can vary by more than 200%. Now
pharmaceuticals-industry and university scientists can search
electronically through multiple suppliers' products on chemdex.com and cut
their research time to an hour a week. The cost of processing a
transaction has dropped too, since scientists can place orders directly
from their desktops. Similarly, CareerBuilder, an infomediary that makes
more than a million job matches each month between 1,000 corporations and
22 online job-posting sites, claim it can reduce the cost per hire from
$8,000 (the national average) to $900."