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Internet

Yahoo debuts branded auctions

The portal teams with Onsale to offer Yahoo Auctions, which replaces the Onsale Exchange feature on the site.

    Yahoo today entered the crowded online auction space with its own service, powered by Onsale.

    Yahoo Auctions replaces Onsale Exchange, an online auction service previously available on the portal. The new auction feature uses Onsale's back-end technology and leverages the Yahoo brand name. "This is the first time we've had Yahoo-branded auctions," said Jeff Mallett, Yahoo's chief operating officer.

    For Onsale's part, the deal offers a chance to reach Yahoo's coveted user base. "This relationship combines our respective strengths to build a dedicated auction arena and reach a broader audience of Web users," Onsale chief executive Jerry Kaplan said in a statement.

    Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

    Asked whether the service offering by Yahoo was an effort to keep pace with competitor Excite's auction service, Mallett said the services were an answer to increasing requests from Yahoo's users.

    Using Classifieds2000, an online classifieds listing service that Excite acquired in April, the portal player began offering real-time bidding for merchandise in June.

    Earlier this month, Net auction firm eBay agreed to pay America Online $12 million for a prime spot on the online giant for three years.

    Among the more than 2,000 auction categories offered on Yahoo Auction will be many standard items such as computers, home appliances, and collectibles. The service will be available free to both buyers and sellers.