eBay Suffers Another Outage

Shares of eBay were taking a hit Friday afternoon as the online auctioneer was weathering yet another in a series of outages.

Reports of the outage began surfacing Friday morning and eBay confirmed the outage Friday afternoon. The company said the site had been down since 7:30 a.m. Eastern, although it had not identified the problem.

eBay posted a statement blaming the situation on a network problem and said all auctions that would have ended between 7:20 a.m. Eastern to the time service is restored will be extended. Fees for auctions scheduled to end during the outage will be refunded.

Once word of the disruption hit Wall Street, eBay shares took a dive. In late afternoon trading, eBay (EBAY) was off 7-9/16 to 85-5/16.

Although market research firm Gomez Advisors recently gave eBay the top ranking in its report on the top 15 online auction sites, the company is no stranger to outages. On June 14, eBay said the cost of an outage a few days earlier would reduce second-quarter revenues by $3 million to $5 million.

That outage came just days after it launched a redesigned site, although the company said the redesign was not to blame. It attributed the down time to a database supplied by Oracle Corp.

Despite these problems, eBay continues to be the most prominent member of a crowded field that includes such competitors as Onsale and Ubid.

In an effort to broaden its offerings, eBay in late April purchased global appraisal and auction house Butterfield & Butterfield for about $260 million. It plans to employ Butterfield & Butterfield resources to enter the mid-tier auction arena. eBay will incorporate
Butterfield & Butterfield’s appraisal team of 50 specialists who specialize in the authentication, appraisal and marketing of art and fine collectibles such as paintings, furniture and jewelry.

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