Sold to eBay: Dutch Classified Site

eBay has acquired a popular online classifieds
Web site in the Netherlands, the company said Wednesday.

The San Jose, Calif.-based digital trading post said it has purchased
Marktplaats.nl from Het Goed Beheer, a Dutch company that owns
second-hand retail shops. The deal is valued at EUR 225 million in cash,
or approximately USD$290 million.

eBay said it plans to continue to operate Marktplaats.nl as a
separate business and allow the company to grow through additional
investments. In exchange, eBay will be able to expand its e-commerce
position in the Netherlands while adding to its growing knowledge of
classifieds-style trading.

“Marktplaats.nl has enjoyed tremendous success in the Netherlands,”
Bill Cobb, senior vice president of eBay International said in a
statement. “Learning from each other, we can strengthen both platforms
and provide Dutch consumers with even better trading opportunities.”

Founded in 1999 and based in Emmeloord,
Marktplaats.nl boasts more than one million listings at any given time.
The company offers a venue where buyers and sellers can meet to trade a
wide array of items, from clothing and collectibles to cars and
household items. The acquisition is part of eBay’s goal of extending its
global footprint and bringing its overseas sites onto the main technology platform.

This is not the first time eBay has jumped into the barter and trade
business. As early as 1998, the company had established several regional sites to appeal to trade-eager customers that might
usually head for the local newspaper’s classified ads.

eBay has also made headway with its classified business
thanks in part to a $50 million acquisition of India’s Bazee.com. eBay
also bought a minority
stake
in Craigslist, the popular online trading site that lets users
find anything from jobs to event tickets to dates.

Before that, eBay closed a buyout deal
for German auto classifieds site mobile.de for $149 million, and it
shelled out a total of $180 million to scoop up China-based e-commerce play EachNet.

The Netherlands is expected to be just as profitable for eBay. The
B2C/e-commerce sector in the Netherlands is estimated to reach $5
billion in 2004, and that number is expected to grow to more than $15
billion in 2007, according to IT research firm IDC’s Internet Commerce
Market Model that was published earlier this year.

“Marktplaats.nl is a great match with eBay Netherlands,” said Josh
Silverman, country manager of eBay Netherlands. “Together, we can help
consumers get the most out of e-commerce no matter which format they
choose.”

Of eBay’s twelve billion-dollar categories, Automotive once again far
surpassed the others, delivering $10.7 billion for its last quarter. The next
highest-performing category –Consumer Electronics — brought in $2.5
billion, the company said in its recent quarterly financial report.

eBay said the acquisition should not have an impact on its 2004 or
2005 net revenue and earnings per share, nor does the company expect the
acquisition to affect eBay’s financial guidance for the last quarter of
the year.

News Around the Web