EBay Buys Via-Online

EBay Inc., the world's largest Internet auctioneer, announced yesterday that, in a move to expand its support for local sellers, it had bought Via-Online GmbH, the German software company that runs the Afterbuy.com Web site for an undisclosed sum. The acquisition of Krefeld, Germany-based Via-Online will allow eBay to benefit from Afterbuy's software to facilitate online auctions, including tools to manage inventory, listings, transactions and pre-sale support, the San Jose, California- based company said in a statement. Afterbuy employees have little to fear, however, as the company will still operate under its current name and will remain in Krefeld. The purchase won't affect the earnings forecast announced in July, eBay said.

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