Ebay became what it is today on September 4, 1995 when founder Pierre Omidyar sold a broken laser pointer for $13.83. He previously worked for Microsoft but left to pursue his idea of online auctions. Headquartered in San Jose, California, the company started out under the name AuctionWeb and became known as Ebay in September 1997. Meg Whitman was appointed CEO of Ebay shortly after, and she has grown the company ever since. Online auctions are available as fixed-price, buy-it-now or as regular bidding. Transactions are completed with the assistance of Pay Pal which was acquired by Ebay in 2002. Buyers and sellers can rely on the feedback posted as to whether or not the buyer/seller is reputable and trustworthy. The convenience of online shopping has grown with millions of different items, antiques, and products being sold. Sellers can have their own stores, websites, and marketplace to sell anything they desire. Over time, Ebay has acquired international auction websites and rebranded them with the Ebay logo. The company has also purchased Skype, Rent.com, Shopping.com, CARad.com, Half.com, and purchased 25% stake in craigslist.com. Ebay did experience an overall decline in August of 2006. Despite its promotional and advertising efforts, Ebay’s revenue growth was slowing. Google had taken the lead as the major internet company. Google was perfecting its very profitable online search and advertising model, and even talked of starting an online auction site similar to Ebay. Ebay and Yahoo formed a strategic alliance in 2006 to boost their position. The talk of a merger continues as business has increased once again for Ebay in 2007. Since the textbook was written, Meg Whitman stepped down as CEO after 15 years on March 31, 2008. The sale of Skype was complete in late 2009 as the company stated it was a “poor fit” for its business; however Ebay still owns 30% of the company. It also acquired StubHub in 2007 and Bill Me Later in...
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