FairMarket strikes deal with eBay

By Kathleen Ohlson, Network World |  Business

FairMarket and eBay this week struck a pact that will allow FairMarket's merchants, manufacturers and distributors to sell their goods directly through eBay.

Under terms of the deal, which is expected to start in April, FairMarket will offer its customers a service to link their inventory systems to eBay's listing services. FairMarket, a Woburn, Mass., provider of selling software, also lists customers' items on other sites including Microsoft's MSN, Lycos, Excite@Home and NBCi. FairMarket customers will have the choice of listing their items on FairMarket's network and eBay.

Both companies declined to disclose the terms of the deal.

Jared Blank, an analyst at Jupiter Research, says FairMarket's agreement with eBay is a "dramatic shift."

"FairMarket wanted to create their auction network, but they've given up on the idea," Blank says. The network wasn't FairMarket-branded, but the company was aggregating bidders and sellers to build up the network, he says.

FairMarket CEO Eileen Rudden says FairMarket never had any intention of competing with eBay.

"We're not a destination site, we're an e-commerce-enabler software company," Rudden says. "We don't operate destination sites."

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