A consortia exchange is an exchange system where the member companies engage in production outside the ability of the individual members. It is common in education and the non-profit industry.
The consortia exchange works as a loose partnership among members whereby each participant provides some good or service necessary for the other members to achieve their overall goal. The members are free to operate independently after providing their respective good or service.
A good example is university library systems. The consortia members all agree to list, document or otherwise provide the educational material of the university to a central repository. This gives each individual university greater access to intellectual information than any one institution could provide on its own. This does not prohibit the universities from marketing their schools, raising money via tuition, or directly competing with each other for students.
The internet acts as a resource for the consortia by allowing the exchange of information across the members. Like other types of exchanges it acts as a host mechanism for repository access and expands the reach of consortia. It is easier now to set up a consortia exchange due to the globalization of the internet.