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VERSUS Technologies Inc. and Archipelago Link Canadian and US Electronic Securities Trading Markets.

Strategic alliance provides bi-directional, cross-border order routing between

Canada and United States

TORONTO, June 29 /PRNewswire/ --

VERSUS Technologies Inc. (Toronto: V), a leading Canadian provider of electronic securities trading services to the institutional and retail marketplace, announced today that it has signed an agreement with Archipelago L.L.C., a U.S.-based broker-dealer and electronic communications network (ECN) for trading stocks cross-border. With this agreement, VERSUS may route orders for Nasdaq, NYSE- and Amex-listed securities entered into its network-based trading system to the Archipelago ECN for execution.

"This agreement represents an important part of our strategy aimed at providing better linkage between Canadian investors and global markets," said Nigel Etherington, executive vice president, strategic business development at VERSUS. "We are excited about the opportunity to offer our clients more efficient electronic access to the largest and deepest liquidity pools in the world."

VERSUS intends to have the southbound link to Archipelago operational in August, and soon after add Canadian markets, including the Toronto Stock Exchange, the Montreal Exchange, the Canadian Venture Exchange (CDNX) and VERSUS' own crossing network, LYNXX, for Archipelago's U.S.-based customers.

"The Canadian marketplace is of significant interest and importance to Archipelago and our customers. This cross-border link with VERSUS will provide seamless access to Canada's equity markets and more flexibility in our order routing capabilities," said Gerald Putnam, chief executive officer of Archipelago. "This relationship expands our international alliances and brings the rich features and benefits of Archipelago to Canadian customers."

Colleen Moorehead, president of VERSUS, said, "We are intent on continuing our quest to provide VERSUS Network clients with the best alternatives for trade execution -- whether they are an institution, investment dealer or E*TRADE Canada retail client. Joining forces with technology and market leader Archipelago makes it that much easier for our clients to benefit from the broad U.S.-based equity opportunities, and helps encourage U.S. investors to tap into the Canadian market as well. It's another major move from a company known for redefining investing in Canada."

About VERSUS

VERSUS Technologies Inc. (Toronto: V), together with its wholly-owned subsidiary VERSUS Brokerage Services Inc., is a leading provider of electronic securities trading services to the Canadian marketplace. VERSUS' retail business is marketed exclusively in Canada under the E*TRADE Canada name as a service of VERSUS Brokerage Services Inc. The E*TRADE Canada service is currently offered in all provinces.

VERSUS Technologies Inc. and VERSUS Brokerage Services Inc. are headquartered in Toronto, Canada. VERSUS Brokerage Services Inc. is a member of the Toronto and Montreal exchanges and the Canadian Venture Exchange, the Investment Dealers Association of Canada, and the Canadian Investor Protection Fund. E*TRADE Canada is a registered trademark of E*TRADE Securities Inc., and is used with their permission. E*TRADE Securities, Inc. (Member NASD/SIPC), and its parent company, E*TRADE Group, Inc., are headquartered in Menlo Park, California.

At present time, E*TRADE Group, Inc. has signed an agreement to acquire VERSUS Technologies Inc., the owner of the E*TRADE Canada license, subject to regulatory, shareholder and other approvals. E*TRADE Group currently holds approximately 12% of the shares of Archipelago.

For more information, visit the VERSUS web sites at www.versus.ca , www.canada.etrade.com

About Archipelago

Archipelago was formed in December 1996 with software developer, Townsend Analytics. It is one of the original four ECNs approved in January 1997 by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Since its inception, Archipelago has offered subscribers outbound order preferencing to effectively create a national limit order book for Nasdaq stocks. Its leading-edge technology, open architecture and innovations, such as sweep functionality based on a proprietary algorithm, facilitate the best execution for investors.

Archipelago is also the only ECN with major investors in both institutional and retail financial services sectors. The Archipelago trading system provides investors fast, cost-efficient and anonymous access to the market. Its average daily volume more than tripled since June 1999. In March 2000, Archipelago and the Pacific Exchange announced a plan to create the first fully electronic national stock exchange for New York Stock Exchange, American Stock Exchange and Nasdaq stocks. For more information, visit the Archipelago Web Site at www.tradearca.com .

CONTACT: Margaret Nagle, 312-960-1355, Sydnie Kampschroeder, 312-960-1358, or Jeff Zilka, 312-960-1373, all of Archipelago; or Melody Gaukel of VERSUS Technologies, 416-413-4655, e-mail, mgaukel@hillandknowlton.ca
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Publication:PR Newswire
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jun 29, 2000
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