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eBay Buys Car Auctioneer, Person-to-Person Payment Enabler.

Investing a little of its staggering market cap back into the business, eBay Inc has bought a payment company and an auto auctioneer for a total of $275m. The net auction giant has acquired Billpoint Inc of Redwood City, California, for its person-to-person credit card payment technology. "Streamlining person-to-person trading is a core part of our strategy," said president and CEO Meg Whitman. Presumably the Billpoint technology will help eBay decentralize part of its immense billing burden.

As for the car company, with Kruse International eBay hopes to buy a piece of the collector automobile market. "eBay and Kruse International are a perfect match," Whitman enthused. "We bring together diverse and fragmented groups of customers who are very passionate about selling and buying unique items they can't find anyplace else." On the other hand, it's far less risky to buy a Pez dispenser - eBay's original raison d'etre - sight unseen, than it is to invest in an antique vehicle. Will the eBay community accept vintage cars as well as Victorian dolls? We'll see.

The transactions will be accounted for as a pooling of interest. The number of shares to be issued in the transactions will be determined by a formula involving the average share price of eBay common stock during a period prior to closing. While closing is subject to certain conditions, the company expects to complete both transactions in the second quarter of 1999.
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Publication:Computergram International
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:May 19, 1999
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