Classified Ventures Bids on Auction Universe

Online auction site Auction Universe was itself put
on the block and sold to Classified Ventures, L.L.C., a
listings site formed by eight U.S. media companies.


Auction Universe will be offered as an optional fourth e-commerce business
line to Classified Ventures affiliates, whose media properties include more
than 140 newspapers. Auction Universe is a Times Mirror company and
currently reaches a network of more than 30 newspapers and media properties.


No terms of the deal were released.


“Together, the media networks of Classified Ventures and Auction Universe
reach more than 70 million people every day, with agreements in the
pipeline to add more than 20 million additional readers
and listeners,” said Larry Schwartz, president and chief executive officer
of Auction Universe.
“This gives us a unique ability to build credibility and trust and drive
business in the online auction market.”


While national auction sites like eBay
and ONSALE are surging in sales, there
is also a desire to find items close to home. With the acquisition, the two
firms intend to provide local services to Net users.


“Online auctions represent an extraordinary opportunity for newspapers and
Classified Ventures,” said David Israel, president and chief executive
officer of Classified Ventures.


“As these markets become more accepted and the value of goods and
services offered rises, the online auction marketplace will become
increasingly locally focused because buyers will want to see and feel goods
before bidding. That’s why our network of local portals will be so
important as this industry grows.”


News Around the Web