EBay’s classified ads business, one of the oldest businesses on the internet, just sold to Adevinta (Norway) for $9.2 billion in order for them to create the largest online classifieds company.
Today classifieds online aren’t a huge business. Only about 3% of the $125 billion online advertising market (2019 according to Interactive Advertising Bureau).
However, in their day Craigslist and what became eBay Classifieds were some of the largest on the web.
EBay Classifieds Group was started 25 years ago as the AuctionWeb. EBay’s classifieds business was once known as DBA which was a popular, Danish all-classifieds newspaper that started publishing in the 1970s far before the idea that everyone would have a network connected computer in their home was commonplace. It decided to give the web a go in 1995.
EBay bought DBA along with lots of other similar businesses in 2008 to form the eBay Classifieds Group. However, classifieds weren’t ever at the center of eBay’s profit ambitions and in the first quarter of 2020 accounted for just 10% of the company’s total revenue.
Now, among a growing group of other non-central businesses like Skype, PayPal and StubHub, eBay decided to dump another branch of its business as it struggles to keep up with its primary and much larger rival Amazon.