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eBay buys Rent.com for $415m

Auction house becomes landlord

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eBay is spreading its wings still further with the acquistion of Rent.com for $415m. The apartment rental site claims to be the biggest of its type in the US and boasts an annual revenue of $40m.

eBay will pay $385m in stock and $30m in cash for the site which puts its success down to the fact that it lets landlords put their properties on the site for free and only takes a cut of a successful lease - similar to eBay's approach. It claims to be in profit.

"Rent.com has been extremely successful in the apartment rental space online and is a great match for eBay," said Bill Cobb, president of eBay North America. Rent.com's CEO Scott Ingraham said much the same thing: "The Rent.com business model is an excellent fit with eBay, a company we have long admired."

Rent.com is just the latest in a programme of expansion by eBay. Hoping to capitalise on its good name, much in the same way that Amazon has stretched far beyond selling books, eBay has entered the classified ad and music download markets this year. Expect more purchases to follow. ®

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