McDonald’s has announced its imminent expansion into the world of the web; a new joint venture business with e-mac digital and Accel-KKR. The plans for an electronic B2B commerce service called the F.S. Network, and aimed at the food service industry, will see the diversity of McDonald’s business above and beyond the worldwide restaurant chain.

In the US, the golden arches branding has already graced a range of children’s clothing in Wal-Mart stores, and McDonald’s has used its buying power to purchase other food retail stores. To spread its revenue base, Ronald has also collected majority shareholdings in other food companies. The more global fastfood intention has been expressed in a ten-year plan to establish 50000 restaurants worldwide.

The B2B Internet initiative is a change from the more conventional tack of McDonald’s expansion, then, but Jack Greenberg, CEO and international chairman, is confident that F.S. Network will position itself as the first global platform for commerce within the food service industry. The vision of the McDonald’s corporation appears to involve morphing the brand internationally known for burgers into a symbol equally powerful in the field of electronic commerce.