Yahoo! restarts European auctions

"What am I bid for a pan-Scandy auction site?"

"What am I bid for a pan-Scandy auction site?"

Yahoo! is getting back into the European auction market by partnering with QXL Ricardo to develop sites in Denmark, Norway and Sweden. The move marks a return to the European online auction business three months after it closed six of its own sites, bowing to the might of rival eBay. At that time Yahoo! signed a multi-year deal with eBay to advertise its auction services throughout Western Europe. In addition, Yahoo! agreed to name eBay as the preferred online auction service for Yahoo! customers. In a statement, Mark Opzoomer, managing director of Yahoo! Europe, said the deal made sense in a financial and strategic sense as it gave the company an opportunity to grow its Scandinavian business. Hellen Omwando, analyst at Forrester Research, said the company had little choice but to team up with QXL given eBay's dominance across Europe. She said: "eBay has captured the rest of the market so Yahoo! almost has no choice but to make bets where it can. QXL is the number one player in running auction sites so at least Yahoo! has an opportunity to make some revenue in a market where it needs to be if it wants to compete on a pan-European level with MSN." Yahoo! has in effect outsourced the day to day running of the auction sites, she added.