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CitySearch To Add Auction Services

Ticketmaster Online-CitySearch Inc. Monday made a move to broaden the features of its city guides with the acquisition of CityAuction Inc.

TicketMaster Online-City Search will issue 800,000 shares of stock which it will exchange for all of CityAuction's outstanding shares and options. That values CityAuction at about $54.7 million, based on Monday's trading range for TicketMaster shares.

Ticketmaster Online-CitySearch said the acquisition will allow users to sell a variety of items online. The site will even allow individuals with items for sale that are difficult to transport to target buyers in a specific geographic region.

Like online auction leader eBay, CitySearch will collect a fee from the seller once the transaction is complete.

Charles Conn, chief executive officer of Ticketmaster Online-CitySearch, sees auctions as a substantial new opportunity for the company.

"CitySearch chose CityAuction because it has a proven capability to build a vibrant auction community. By acquiring CityAuction, we are providing a convenient and entertaining way for Ticketmaster Online-CitySearch users to post or buy a broad range of goods in their local communities," he said.

Andrew Rebele, founder and chief executive officer of CityAuction, said his company realizes that people are often more comfortable doing business with people in their area.

"CityAuction was designed to join the energy of the online auction community with the local community where most trading takes place," he said.

The purchase still must be approved by the boards of both companies.



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