eBay expands in The Netherlands

eBay is buying Marktplaats, the biggest online buy/sell site in The Netherlands, the Wall Street Journal reports today, for about €225 million.

eBay said it wanted to strengthen its position in The Netherlands, where 70% of the population uses the internet (that’s about 11 million people) and there is a strong and historic tradition of trading. Though eBay said its existing Dutch auction site is flourishing, the company has been surpassed in virtually all electronic-commerce categories by Marktplaats. I would agree with that from my own experience here – Marktplaats is definitely the online auction site of choice in The Netherlands, not eBay.

The transaction marks eBay’s third investment in the internet classified-listings market, the Journal reported. Three months ago, eBay purchased a 25% minority stake in Craigslist, which offers classified listings for web users in the San Francisco Bay area, New York, Los Angeles and other cities. EBay also purchased Mobile.de, a German classified-ad site for cars, in January for $149 million.

Wall Street Journal | EBay Buys Netherlands Classified-Listing Site (Subscription required)