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eBay kills live auctions

Going, going, really gone

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eBay is canning its live auction service in its latest effort to overhaul its business model.

The service was offered in partnership with real world auction houses and overseen by auctioneers, but will cease on 31 December.

Jim Ambach, vice president of Seller Experience, explained in the site's forum that the service fell out of eBay's "immediate focus" and will therefore "be retired".

Live auctions were often linked to real world auctions and so had no end time - the auction lasted as long as bids were made. Successful bidders paid a premium of 12.5 or 15 per cent depending on the price of the item.

The decision is one of several changes at eBay - last month it stopped allowing negative feedback about buyers, and earlier this week it made changes to security processes. The company is also forcing customers in Australia to shift to its inhouse payment service, PayPal.

eBay's first quarter results are released later today - the company is expected to hit its targets, and analysts expect earnings of around $2.07bn. ®

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