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Friday, 2 June, 2000, 11:15 GMT 12:15 UK
Gambling on the e-future
e-buy.com: internet department store in the making?
A UK businessman who has turned down a multi-million-pound offer for a web address he registered for just 65 ($100) has told the BBC he is "taking a gamble".

Peter Littke, of Leatherhead, Surrey, bought the rights to the name e-buy.com three years ago.


I was tempted by the offer because it's enough money to live on for the rest of your life if you use it well

Peter Littke

A Californian company, Ebuy Inc, which last year offered him 2m ($3m) for the name and associated trademarks, has now raised its offer to 4.6m ($7m).

Mr Littke would be paid half in cash and half in Ebuy shares.

e-buy-gum

But Mr Littke, managing director of Java software developer Naxt, has decided he will make more money by using the name himself.

"It was a very, very tempting offer, which was negotiated earlier this year," he told BBC Breakfast News.

"But I have been working now for three and a half years on a different concept and e-buy.com only forms part of it.


I believe that the online future lies very much in Europe

Peter Littke

"We will launch in September and I just had to say no because we are too far down the road."

At e-buy.com currently there is only a statement saying: "Welcome to the e-buy.com international department store. The site will be accessible very soon."

The idea is for a global consumer portal based in the UK.

Belief

Mr Littke said: "Of course I was tempted by the offer because it's enough money to live on for the rest of your life if you use it well.

"But I believe that the online future lies very much in Europe which is already ahead of the US in terms of TV and cellular phone access to the internet.

"You have to ask, 'Do I believe in my business?' and I know I will get much more value from the name in the long term.

"Unlike many dot.coms, we can already rely on an excellent management team in place including some serious players from the retail industry."

Naxt says it has already developed the technology that will run the proposed e-buy global consumer portal.

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See also:

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