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eBay wins the Baazee for $50 m

Mumbai, June 23: Global online auctioneer eBay Inc will acquire Baazee.com for $50 million (Rs 230 crore).

California-based eBay wants to expand outside the US and had acquired EachNet Inc, China’s most popular online auction site, for $180 million (Rs 823 crore) last year.

The acquisition of Bazee is expected to be completed by the third quarter of 2004. The agreement will help eBay enter the nascent, but growing Indian market, Baazee said.

The relationship with eBay will help Baazee.com strengthen its position in India's e-commerce market. “The combination of Baazee.com and eBay will give buyers and sellers in India and abroad access to a broader range of products and services,” Bazee said.

Mumbai-based Baazee.com is an online auction mart for numerous buyers and sellers throughout India. At present, the site has more than one million registered users who trade in products ranging from consumer electronics and computers to home decor and jewellery.

“Our relationship with Baazee.com is another important step in the expansion of eBay's global market,” said Meg Whitman, president and CEO of eBay.

“E-commerce in India is at an early stage, but we believe there is great opportunity in the long run. Baazee.com’s strong management team and strong focus on the community make it a natural fit for eBay,” he added.

“The partnership with eBay validates our business model and position in the industry,” said Avnish Bajaj, chairman and co-CEO of Baazee.com. “Our local expertise, coupled with eBay's global perspective, will help us take e-commerce in India to higher levels.”

“We built Baazee.com to change the way people buy and sell goods in India,” said Suvir Sujan, co-CEO of Baazee.com. “As part of eBay, we will provide our users greater economic opportunities,” he added. Bajaj had quit an investment-banking job to set up Bazee.com in partnership with Harvard classmate Sujan.

At present, there are 17 million internet users in India. This is expected to grow to more than 30 million by 2006, according to IDC's Internet Commerce Market Model, January 2004.

eBay will buy all outstanding shares of Baazee.com for approximately $50 million, along with acquisition costs and post-signing adjustments.

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