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Last Updated: Wednesday, 9 March, 2005, 00:15 GMT
eBay launches classified ad sites
eBay has been snapping up other websites recently
Online auction house eBay has launched a series of classified advertising websites in Canada, China, France, Germany, Italy and Japan.

The move comes as the company faces pressure to match its strong earnings growth figures of recent years.

eBay shares slipped after its October to December profits failed to meet market expectations, despite rising 44% to $205.4m (110m) on 2003.

The new sites were launched under the name Kijiji on 28 February.

Individuals will be able to list items free of charge.

Website acquisitions

eBay said the launch will not have a material impact on its earnings this year.

The firm has been investing in a number of classified advertising websites.

In November it bought Netherlands-based Marktplaats.nl for $290m and last month snapped up US property site Rent.com for $414m.

Its $152m purchase of German auto ads site Mobile.de is set to be completed in the next few months.

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