RealTime IT News

eBay Looking to Boeuf Up?

San Jose, Calif.-based online auctioneer eBay Inc. reportedly is near the final stages of a deal that would expand its reach in Europe via the purchase of French auction site iBazar Group in a stock deal estimated at about $92 million.

iBazar, like eBay, operates also a person-to-person online auction community.

The deal would make eBay the leading online auctioneer in Europe and provide strong competition for London-based QXL Ricardo, said the Wall Street Journal online edition, which first reported the story.

eBay launched in France last October, allowing French buyers and sellers to trade using French francs.

iBazar is said to lead both eBay and QXL in the French market. The company also operates auction sites in Italy, Spain, Brazil, the Netherlands, Portugal and Belgium.

iBazar reportedly said last October it had been talking to a number of Internet companies about an alliance; unconfirmed reports surfaced at the time mentioning a possible deal with a France Telecom company.

eBay stock was up 75 cents to $45.31 in early trading today.