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RealTime IT News

eBay Takes a Short Count

By Beth Cox

For the first time in about a year, auction company eBay Inc. ran into a glitch that created a service outage, this time for about an hour and a half.

The company's last significant outage was a year ago last January when a hardware failure took the site down for almost 11 hours.

In a message on the site, eBay said that "the ability to access static pages, including the eBay Home Page, was intermittently unavailable from 13:10 PST to 14:40 PST (Thursday). We have identified and corrected the issue, and all pages are once again accessible."

Selling and bidding on items continued for users who knew how to find particular pages without going through eBay's home page. There was no immediate word from the company on what precisely happened.

eBay later took the system down from 01:00 PDT until 03:00 PDT this morning for what it described as "regularly scheduled maintenance."

The San Jose, Calif.-based auction giant, reeling under the pressure of its rapid growth, suffered a series of service outages in the late 1990s before spending large sums to conquer its technical woes.

Some of the failures were caused by denial of service spam attacks. eBay experienced one of its largest outages on June 10, 1999, which lasted over 22 hours and resulted in the company paying users approximately $3.9 million in credited fees, Goldman Sachs has said.