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Sothebys joins eBay in online auction venture

In a classic example of the old embracing the new, Sotheby's, the world's oldest fine art auctioneer, and eBay, the online...

In a classic example of the old embracing the new, Sotheby's, the world's oldest fine art auctioneer, and eBay, the online marketplace, are to join forces on the Internet.

The alliance, announced last week, involves three main components.

  • In early summer the companies will introduce Sothebys.com online auctions into the eBay marketplace

  • Sotheby's will adopt eBay's Live Auctions technology to enable realtime online bidding for a number of its traditional auctions held in London and New York

  • The companies will market Sothebys.com across both online and traditional media.


Once launched, the new site, to be built and hosted by eBay, will replace online auctions at Sothebys.com as well as eBay Premier (the site for high-end art buyers). It will be accessible from both companies' Web sites.

Property posted on the new site will be drawn from Sotheby's and its network of dealers and regional auction houses around the world. Selected eBay Premier dealers and Butterfields Auctioneers, an eBay subsidiary, will sell arts, antiques and collectibles on the site.

Bill Ruprecht, chief executive officer of Sotheby's, feels the two companies have complementary strengths.

"This alliance, with the most successful online marketplace in the world, combines eBay's powerful technology platform and global following of 42 million registered users with Sotheby's unmatched expertise and experience," he said.

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