RealTime IT News

Classified Ventures Bids on Auction Universe

Online auction site Auction Universe was itself put on the block and sold to Classified Ventures, L.L.C., a listings site formed by eight U.S. media companies.

Auction Universe will be offered as an optional fourth e-commerce business line to Classified Ventures affiliates, whose media properties include more than 140 newspapers. Auction Universe is a Times Mirror company and currently reaches a network of more than 30 newspapers and media properties.

No terms of the deal were released.

"Together, the media networks of Classified Ventures and Auction Universe reach more than 70 million people every day, with agreements in the pipeline to add more than 20 million additional readers and listeners," said Larry Schwartz, president and chief executive officer of Auction Universe. "This gives us a unique ability to build credibility and trust and drive business in the online auction market."

While national auction sites like eBay and ONSALE are surging in sales, there is also a desire to find items close to home. With the acquisition, the two firms intend to provide local services to Net users.

"Online auctions represent an extraordinary opportunity for newspapers and Classified Ventures," said David Israel, president and chief executive officer of Classified Ventures.

"As these markets become more accepted and the value of goods and services offered rises, the online auction marketplace will become increasingly locally focused because buyers will want to see and feel goods before bidding. That's why our network of local portals will be so important as this industry grows."