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MSN, eBay expand e-commerce alliance

The software titan's Internet service and eBay plan to broaden their e-commerce alliance, hoping to bring more convenience to MSN users and tap new markets for eBay sellers.

MSN and eBay on Thursday announced plans to broaden their relationship and further integrate their services for online shoppers.

The expanded alliance would allow Microsoft's MSN customers to receive direct links to eBay for items related to their search queries from the MSN home page and its different sections. The Internet service will also showcase eBay's advertising across its network in contextually relevant places.

The San Jose, Calif.-based online auctioneer hopes to make it easier for customers to find eBay listings. eBay is also hoping that the expanded alliance draws new buyers and sellers to its online marketplace.

"eBay is consistently one of the top five search queries on MSN Search," Richard Bray, vice president of MSN's U.S. region, said in a statement. The company hopes the alliance will provide greater utility and convenience for its customers.

The tie-up builds on the alliance Microsoft and eBay had announced in March 2001 to expand their global online presence and improve the e-commerce experience for consumers.

MSN said it attracts more than 300 million unique users worldwide per month. With its localized versions, it is available globally in 34 markets and in 18 languages.