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MSN to include eBay personalized data

Online auctioneer eBay will offer access to personalized content via Microsoft's MSN Web portal.

Online auctioneer eBay said Thursday it will offer access to personalized content via Microsoft's MSN Web portal.

The marketing agreement, announced at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, marks the first time the eBay has allowed its users to manage their eBay accounts through a portal. As a result, individuals will be able to access their personalized "My eBay" account through MSN's own personalized pages. The feature is being made available to U.S. customers.

In justifying the partnership, the companies cited a research report published by Nielsen/NetRatings las November that indicated about 82 percent of visitors to eBay also visit MSN.

Thursday's announcement was made as part of Microsoft's relaunch of MSN, which included the addition of numerous capabilities for users to customize the information they receive.

The My eBay pages allow the customers to track auctions, view bidding histories and complete transactions with other site members using the eBay's online payment division, PayPal. The section also gives people the chance to view and leave feedback about transactions, one of eBay's strategies for fostering a trusted community environment.

"(Customers) want to stay informed about real-time activity related to the items that they are buying or selling on our site," Jeff Housenbold, vice president of Internet marketing for eBay, said in a statement. "Given the number of visitors who frequent both eBay and MSN, the integration of My eBay provides a logical and convenient way for these users to stay connected with their activities."

The partnership could help Microsoft in its battle for leadership in the portal arena such as Yahoo. Microsoft also announced a new home page for broadband customers, more than 150 new customizable content modules and a new broadband video service as part of the MSN revamp.