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eBay buys mobile ad outfit Where

Jumps on 'shop local' bandwagon

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eBay – famous for letting people buy stuff for auction from anywhere in the world, to anywhere in the world – has joined the “hyper-local” goldrush and bought Boston-based Where Inc. for an undisclosed sum.

Where plays in the mobile location services space, delivering local-area advertising to mobile customers. eBay’s acquisition is in line with its push to abandon its shrinking auction user base and align itself with the retailers whose prices it had formerly undermined.

The acquisition gives eBay a user base of 120,000 Where business customers, the company said. On its site, Where claims a user base of four million, and says its advertisements reach 50 million viewers.

Where’s offering is part of the increasing white noise of “hyper local” voucher traders with the same kinds of offers as used to be sold at charity auctions and school fundraisers, from cheap restaurant meals to “today only” Brazilian waxing (although escort services are less likely to turn up in more traditional voucher shopping). ®

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