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Yahoo! retreats from European online auctions

Yahoo! has announced it will join with its rival, European online auction site QXL, to provide a co-branded online auction service in Denmark, Norway and Sweden. A move that marks a further retreat from the European auction market.

As part of the multi-year deal, QXL will host and maintain the Scandinavian auction sites while Yahoo! and QXL will jointly market the three sites, the companies said.

Last May, Yahoo! closed five of its online auction sites that served the UK, Ireland, France, Germany, Italy and Spain and signed a deal to promote the sites of rival eBay.

Yahoo! will now give up the day-to-day operation of its Danish auction site, and will gain a presence in Norway and Sweden.

"The deal we have with QXL is quite different than our agreement with eBay in the sense that we closed down some of our European auction sites and began to actively promote the equivalent eBay sites. We remain in Demark, which is a competitive landscape that is less clearly defined [than the rest of Europe], though QXL has been the market leader in Scandinavia. We will be retaining our brand in Denmark, but we will no longer retain the management of the site," Jackson said.

The individual sites will be accessed through a single "jump page" located on the Yahoo! Web site, which will retain the look and feel of the existing Yahoo! auction site and will be co-branded as "powered by QXL", Jackson said.

The site will be operational by the end of the year.

Its withdrawal from the European auction market has allowed Yahoo! to focus on its e-commerce businesses.

"Our shopping and travel sites in Europe are doing very well and we are beefing up our entertainment and sports sites. Looking forward, Yahoo! Europe will also be moving into the mobile space," Jackson said.

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