eBay Enhances Services With Acquisitions

Online auctioneer eBay Inc. this week
announced two acquisitions which will speed the time it takes to settle person-to-person transactions and add a high-margin line to its offerings.

eBay late Tuesday announced it had purchased Billpoint Inc.,
which facilitates person-to-person credit card payment over the Internet,
as well as Kruse
International
, an auctioneer of collector cars worldwide, in a $275
million stock deal.

With Billpoint, eBay said it will be able to provide buyers and sellers
with a secure, easy way to make use of credit card transactions. Until the
acquisition, buyers and sellers relied primarily on money orders or checks
to conduct transactions. With Billpoint, eBay said sellers can instantly
accept credit cards and other forms of payment.

“We are committed to providing the eBay community with the simplest and
easiest way to trade online,” said Meg Whitman, president and chief
executive officer of
eBay. “Streamlining person-to-person trading is a core part of our strategy and
Billpoint will offer shoppers a convenient and easy-to-use payment solution
that will
serve the needs of the eBay community at large.”

Kruse International will offer their fleet of collector cars for online
auction, to enhance its current traveling live auction services. Kruse
participates in approximately 40 car auctions each year and has held events
in 46 states, the United Kingdom and Japan. The firm will also provide
specialists able to appraise, authenticate and rate a wide range of
automobiles.

The Kruse acquisition is part of eBay’s effort to build up its big ticket
merchandise area, Whitman said, as well as appeal to online collectors.

“[eBay and Kruse] bring together diverse and fragmented groups of customers
who are very passionate about selling and buying unique items they can’t
find anyplace else,” she said.

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