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EBay takes stake in classified ad website

Online auction giant eBay has acquired a 25% stake in San Francisco classified advertisements website Craigslist.

Online auction giant eBay has acquired a 25% stake in San Francisco classified advertisements website Craigsli...

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The deal will allow eBay and Craigslist to share expertise and resources, the companies said. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Craigslist was founded in 1995 as a free classifieds website for the San Francisco area. The site now serves 45 cities worldwide including New York, Toronto and London and is still expanding. Craigslist includes listings for jobs, housing, personals and events.

EBay confirmed that as a minority shareholder, it does not expect to get any control over Craigslist.

EBay's primary reason to buy the stake is to learn more about the classifieds model that has been a great success for Craigslist, said compnay spokesman Hani Durzy said.

"There seems to be something really powerful about the classifieds model in certain areas. It is something that we're going to be able to explore as part of this acquisition," he said.

EBay purchased the shares from an individual Craigslist founder and chairman Craig Newmark worked with and had given part ownership to. When the unnamed man left the company and decided to sell his shares to eBay, Newmark and his associates met with eBay and came to an agreement.

Joris Evers writes for IDG News Service

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