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
, 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.

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