eBay Takes 25% Stake In Craigslist

The online marketplace of mostly free classified ads has cut into newspapers' advertising revenue.
Online auctioneer eBay Inc. says it has acquired a 25% interest in craigslist, an online marketplace of mostly free classified ads. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

Craigslist, which covers a wide range of categories from jobs and apartments to used cars and personals, was founded by Craig Newmark in 1995 in San Francisco. Its following has been moving from pop status to mainstream and it has cut into newspapers' revenue from classified ads.

Earlier this month, craigslist said it had to begin charging for more job listings to fund its rapid growth across the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom.

In a posting on his Web log, Newmark says that eBay's CEO Meg Whitman and eBay founder and chairman Pierre Omidyar "showed that they were interested in us for all the right reasons. Like craigslist, eBay is about helping folks get everyday stuff done, on a level playing field--they emphasize trustworthiness and reputation, and try really hard to listen to people."

Also on his blog, Newmark said the purchase, disclosed Friday, "allows us to operate without changing our mission of community service, while making available to us expertise and resources we could really use."

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