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News > Technology
eBay wins German bid
June 22, 1999: 11:30 a.m. ET

Online auction sites increasingly turning their attention overseas
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NEW YORK (CNNfn) - U.S. firm eBay is heading for Germany as online auction firms increase their bids for Europe's budding Internet auction business.
     German firm Alando.de has become the latest European prize to be won by eBay. The U.S. online auction leader announced Tuesday it had acquired the Berlin-based Alando -- Germany's top online trading firm -- but would not disclose the financial details.
     eBay said the deal would be dilutive to earnings throughout the rest of the year. It also said it would have one time expenses -- which it also would not comment on -- related to the deal during the second quarter.
     Promising "Auktionen für alle," eBay noted its acquisition will give it a German language site with 500 categories of goods for sale, 80,000 listed items and more than 50,000 registered members.
    

     Germany has an estimated 10 million Internet users, a market too enticing to pass up, according to Pierre Omidyar, founder of eBay (EBAY).
     "The acquisition of alando.de will accelerate eBay's vision of creating a passionate, vibrant and loyal global trading community and we look forward to building an outstanding site," Omidyar said.
     The Web site will continue to operate under the www.alando.de address for now, but later this year it will switch solely to a new address -- www.ebay.de. The site already has been updated to look like eBay's U.S. site.
     The buyout caps a quick rise for Alando, which was launched only in March. Even though it will be firmly in the eBay camp, it is looking at expanding, according to Alexander Samwer, manager of business development at Alando.
     "For us this is a great opportunity. As part of the plan we will take on a lot of European responsibility," said Samwer.
     First up for its expansion are plans to move into other German speaking countries, like Austria and Switzerland, along with parts of eastern and southern Europe.
     On the British Isles, another auction deal was underway. Brilliant Digital Entertainment (BDE), a Los Angeles-based digital entertainment firm, said Tuesday it was acquiring Trojan Television, owner of The Auction Channel, a London-headquartered broadcaster of interactive auction events.
     Brilliant Digital is acquiring Trojan through a stock swap worth $7.3 million.
     Brilliant is looking to establish itself as an online auction player with the deal. The Auction Channel offers telephone and Internet bidding on some of the events it broadcasts to the United States, Europe and Asia.
     "Anyone with a television set and a telephone or Internet access device will be able to watch the action and bid simultaneously with people on the floor at the auction," said Mark Dyne, Brilliant's chief executive officer.
     The company is aiming at the high-end auction market served by the Auction Channel, which offers bidding on fine art, antiques and collectibles from more than 200 auction houses and 7,500 dealers.
     The deal is similar to a recent move by Amazon.com (AMZN). The online bookseller and, now, auction site last week hooked up with famed auction house Sotheby's (BID) to launch a joint Web site aimed at selling higher end items.Back to top

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