eBay Plunges After Tech Giants Form Competitor

Shares of online auction leader eBay Inc. were off significantly in midday trading Friday, taking it on the chin after a group of technology leaders announced they were forming a competing auction network.

Just after noon, internet.com’s Internet Stock Index had risen 3.95, or .80 percent, to 497.68, the Nasdaq Composite had jumped 38.58 to 2,845.30 and the Dow Jones industrial average had climbed 83.90 to 10,821.36.

eBay Inc. (EBAY) was off 8-3/8 to 143-3/8 after Microsoft Corp. (MSFT), Dell Computer Corp. (DELL), Lycos Inc. (LCOS) and [email protected] Corp. (ATHM) announced plans to create an online auction service.

Microsoft was up 1-13/16 to 95-13/16, [email protected] had climbed 1/2 to 37-7/8, Lycos was up 1-3/8 to 44-3/8 and Dell had added 1-1/8 to 47-7/8.

The auctions will be run by privately-held Fair Market Inc.Details of the network will be unveiled on Monday.

Other sector leaders were doing nicely Friday as investors were coming back into the sector on this “triple-witching” Friday when options and futures contracts expire.

Ariba (ARBA) up 8-3/4 to 131-5/8, Broadvision Corp. (BVSN) had climbed 7-3/8 to 113-1/4, DoubleClick Inc. (DCLK) had gained 5-5/8 to 114-1/4, Exodus Communications (EXDS) was up 3-3/8 to 75-5/8, Priceline.com Inc. (PCLN) had added 2 to 59-1/8 and Yahoo! Inc. (YHOO) had moved up 15/16 to 164-3/8.

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