eBay Inc. (NASDAQ:EBAY) wants to keep growing upon their classifieds business. They started Kijiji and own 25% of Craigslist. Jacob Aqraou said the company plans to expand more upon the classifieds business by taking over a fair number of classified companies over the next 6 months. eBay plans to take advantage of a slow-down in economic growth and the credit crunch. It makes more sense to them to buy-out companies than to build more from scratch.
eBay is especially looking for companies that have a strong market-share in their demographics or geographic location where the online auction company lacks a presence. “They have learned that classifieds can be a hell of a business,” stated Peter M. Zollman, founding principal at Classified Intelligence LLC. Classified Intelligence estimates the offline and online classifieds market at $100 billion.
eBay’s involvement with classifieds right now generate somewhere between $385 million to $770 million out of eBay’s $7.7 billion. Aqraou specifically said eBay is targeting Eastern Europe and Scandinavia for acquisitions. eBay is looking for classifieds ads that in specific lines of work such as car deals or real estate agents.
While eBay is planning to acquire classifieds companies, they are battling Craigslist in court. eBay sued Craigslist for attempting to diluting their shares in the company. Craigslist sued them back for starting their own competitive classifieds company.