eBay acquires alaMaula, starts expansion in Latin America

Friday, June 24, 2011

Online retailer eBay has acquired Argentine online sales platform alaMaula with the goal of expansion in Latin America, Argentine press quoted eBay's VP of finance and operations, Pat Kolek, as saying.

"We want to be in all relevant territories, categories and platforms. We are going to be everywhere. We have to be local, simple and free," Kolek said without providing hard numbers. "We believe this is the right moment to be in Latin America; advertisers are migrating online."

According to the executive, the acquisition will not change eBay's current participation in alaMaula's competitor MercadoLibre - the region's biggest online sales platform, in which eBay has a 18.4% stake.

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Diego Noriega, founder of alaMaula and new general manager for eBay in Latin America, said the company's business plan is based on free advertising to compete with the likes of MercadoLibre, and that the main objective "is to increase the number of visitors and user-posted adverts for 2011."

alaMaula has around 5mn unique visits per month and more than 250,000 advertisements. In comparison, eBay has more than 65mn unique visitors monthly and 18.3mn ads with annual revenue of US$9.2bn.