Around 100 Web sites, including heavyweights [email protected], Lycos and Microsoft's MSN, are expected to share auction listings in a bid to catch up with dominant player Ebay.
Items listed on any one of the participating sites will be available throughout the network. The network was established by auction host Fairmarket, whose customers already include Dell and CompUSA.
Together, the companies will present a formidable challenge to Ebay, which dominates the market with over three million items on auction at any one time.
At first, Lycos and Excite are expected offer auctions without any fees. Microsoft, making its online auction debut, will not charge a listing fee but will impose a transaction fee of up to five per cent, according to sources.
Meanwhile, Microsoft, [email protected], and Ticketmaster-Online Citysearch, another auction network member, are all expected to take an undisclosed equity stake in Fairmarket, according to industry sources.
Fairmarket did not respond to requests for comment this afternoon.
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