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eBay.co.uk, Lastminute.com Announce Joint Auction

Two of the UK's top commercial sites, eBay.co.uk and lastminute.com, have partnered to launch a global auction.

The two companies are offering to highest bidders a selection of all-in packages to see the forthcoming Lewis/Holyfield boxing match in Las Vegas.

It is expected that the new auction will be the first of many collaborations between the two firms.

"This partnership gives eBays worldwide users the chance to bid on once-in-a-lifetime experiences and also indicates the leading position eBay.co.uk now has as the UKs premier trading community," said Michael van Swaaij, vice president of eBay Europe.

eBay.co.uk will host the auction for the Las Vegas trip, and will also promote it on its main site in the United States. The companies say that this is the first time that auctions have been specially tailored to suit the needs of the market on both sides of the Atlantic.

"This agreement reinforces lastminute.coms tradition of partnering with the very best Internet sites in the world," said Brent Hoberman, managing director of lastminute.com.

Publicity resulting from the deal may do little to dampen enthusiasm for auctioneer QXL.com, shares in which are about to be traded on the London Stock Exchange. However, eBay.co.uk is already the UK's largest person-to-person trading community, while in Europe over 450 thousand items are currently up for auction on localised eBay sites.