eBay taps Opera to go mobile

It ain't over till the fat lady bids

eBay is piloting a scheme to bring its Online Marketplace service to mobile users in Germany. Using a customised version of Opera's Mini mobile web browser, eBay and Opera are creating a means for people to sell, bid and buy items using mobile phones.

Opera gets paid based on the volume of web transactions such as bids made on eBay.de using its lightweight mobile browser software. eBay Germany has 20m registered users, making it the online auction site's second biggest market after the US. Opera Mini has 3m users in advance of the launch of Opera Mini eBay edition, which is due to debut later this month.

Traditionally, Opera has made its money by licensing its software to operating system (such as Symbian) and handset suppliers. Hakon Lie, Opera's CTO, said it was moving up the value chain by dealing with telcos, persuading them to ask handset manufacturers to pre-load Opera software, and content providers, such as eBay. ®

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