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Last Updated: Wednesday, 23 June, 2004, 13:32 GMT 14:32 UK
eBay buys Indian auction site
eBay's UK site has 10 million items for sale
eBay is to buy one of India's leading online auction sites as part of a continued expansion across Asia.

The US firm is paying 27m for Baazee.com, a Bombay business with over one million registered users.

Baazee, like eBay, allows users to buy and sell goods online such as computers, jewellery, music and books.

The deal will give eBay access to one of the world's most currently underdeveloped e-commerce markets but one with huge growth potential.

The deal, which is not expected to have any significant effect on the company's revenues this year, is due to be completed in the third quarter.

Growing market

Internet usage in India is relatively low and is largely restricted to urban areas. However, user numbers are forecast to rise rapidly over the next two years from their current level of 17 million to 30 million.

"Although it is early days for e-commerce in India, we believe there is great opportunity over the long term," eBay chief executive Meg Whitman said.

eBay has been steadily expanding across Asia. Last year it paid 88m to acquire EachNet, the most popular online auction site in China.

eBay's Asian markets
South Korea

eBay, which was founded in California in 1995, currently operates 17 country specific sites outside the US. It also owns a stake in Mercadolibre, one of Latin America's leading online auctioneers.

The company hopes that its international business will eventually outgrow its domestic operation.

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