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eBay, AuctionRover.com Ink Licensing Pact

In an intriguing change of strategy, eBay Inc. Wednesday reversed course by inking a licensing pact with auction search site AuctionRover.com.

The agreement allows bidders using AuctionRover.com to easily search through and connect with auctions on eBay (EBAY), rounding out AuctionRover.com's extensive services for both bidders and sellers of auction items, providing them with a centralized location to complete their online auction activities.

AuctionRover.com features Rocket Rover -- an advanced, proprietary cross-auction search engine, which provides a comprehensive index of more than 30 leading online auction sites.

Bidders can search more than 850 online auction sites. They can be notified about new items, monitor items of interest, and participate on several different auction sites simultaneously.

AuctionRover.com also features a price trending service which enables buyers and sellers to view bid volumes and price histories of more than 350 popular auction items. AuctionRover.com has redesigned the cross-auction "fetch" search feature of its site to provide access to complete eBay search results.

The deal could prove to be the match that ignites the fire between eBay and AuctionWatch. In November the leading online auctioneer said it would block AuctionWatch's access, contending that such search services slow down volume on its site and provides incomplete or inaccurate information. Currently, eBay programs its servers to ignore requests for information received from addresses used by AuctionWatch.

"Online auction users have been demanding a single source for their auction searches and now AuctionRover.com provides them with that source," said Michael Miller, author of The Complete Idiot's Guide to Online Auctions and president and founder of The Molehill Group, a strategic consulting and authoring firm.

"By offering the only licensed search of eBay and other auction sites, AuctionRover.com will fast become the search site of choice for serious auction buyers and sellers."

internet.com Corp., which publishes this Web site, is an investor in AuctionRover.com.