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eBay to tap auction service site for partnership

The online auction giant is striking a deal with Andale, integrating the company's management products into its Web site and marketing them to its members.

eBay is picking sides in the battle of the auction service sites.

The leading auction house plans to announce Wednesday that it has struck a deal with Mountain View, Calif.-based Andale, CNET News.com has learned. As part of the deal, eBay will integrate some of Andale's auction management services into its Web site and market them to its members.

Representatives from Andale and eBay declined to comment.

Andale offers services such as image hosting for auction items and premade templates that help sellers list items for sale. The company is one of a number of auction service sites that have sprouted up as online auctions have become more popular. Andale's competitors include AuctionWatch, GoTo Auctions and AuctionWorks.

San Jose, Calif.-based eBay offers a number of similar services for its members and has increasingly sought out partners to broaden its offerings. Earlier this year, the company teamed with banking giant Wells Fargo to launch Billpoint, an online person-to-person payment system. Internet Pictures will soon host auction images for eBay sellers for free under a deal announced in April.

Despite these deals, eBay has had a rocky relationship with many of the auction service companies. The company sued Bidder's Edge last year, charging that Bidder's Edge's auction search illegally trespassed on eBay's site, violated its copyright and trademarks, and slowed its service for members. Ruling in eBay's favor, a federal judge issued a preliminary injunction against Bidder's Edge's service.

eBay has also jousted with AuctionWatch over a similar auction search service.

Andale's deal with eBay comes two months after Andale merged with Honesty.com. Honesty's auction counters, which track the number of times buyers view a particular auction listing, have proved popular with eBay sellers.