RealTime IT News

Amazon.com Buys Auction Site

In an effort to expand its recently launched auction services, Amazon.com Monday purchased auction site LiveBid.com.

LiveBid.com is a Seattle-based company formed in 1996 that broadcasts live, event-based auctions on the Internet. Utilizing LiveBid.com's patent-pending real-time software technology, auction houses are able to conduct their auctions over the Internet.

Amazon.com said it will use LiveBid's services to target local and regional auction houses looking to capitalize on the popularity of Internet auctions. Online bidders can participate in live auctions in real time, competing directly with bidders present at the auction site.

"The big winners here are the world's traditional auction houses," said Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon.com. "Appraisal and authentication are important, and no one can do it better than established and expert auctioneers. We're going to actively team up with them so they can expand their reach with LiveBid.com's technology and Amazon.com's 8 million customers."

Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed. The merger is expected to close within the quarter.

Monday's deal enhances the auction services Amazon.com launched March 30 that put the online retailer in direct competition with online auctioneer eBay and other top auction firms.