EBay Buys Auto Classifieds Site in Germany

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(AP) Internet auction site eBay Inc. said Monday it agreed to acquire Mobile.de, a privately held classifieds Web site for vehicles in Germany, for $152 million.

Upon closing, expected in the spring, San Jose-based eBay will link the two sites, giving sellers a choice between Mobile.de’s classified format and eBay’s traditional auction format when they list their automobiles, eBay said.

Mobile.de, based in Hamburg, has about 800,000 listings. The company was founded in 1996 and later received partial funding from private equity firm Granville Baird Capital Partners.

During the third quarter of 2003, the latest period for which numbers are available, eBay Germany’s motor division had annualized gross merchandise sales of $1.1 billion, the company said. Annualized gross merchandise sales is the total value that sellers paid for merchandise on the Web site.

EBay said the actual price it pays for Mobile.de will be subject to adjustments and based on the prevailing exchange rate at closing time.

The deal is expected to have a nominal effect on eBay’s 2004 revenue and no effect on its earnings outlook.

EBay had 2003 revenue of $2.17 billion.

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