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eBay calls on AOL to help it sell online ad space

Looking to bring in new revenue, the online auctioneer quietly begins to host banner advertisements for the first time with the help of Net giant America Online.

Looking to bring in new revenue, online auctioneer eBay has quietly begun to host banner advertisements for the first time.

Today, the San Jose, Calif.-based company will launch its first real effort to sell advertising on its Web site, partnering with online giant America Online, which will use part of its huge advertising sales force to sell promotions on eBay, a company spokesman said.

The move marks eBay's first major effort to sell its audience to advertisers, according to the spokesman. eBay is the 16th-most-visited Web site, attracting more than 12 million visitors in August, according to Media Metrix.

"We've been quietly doing this for four months now," said Kevin Pursglove, an eBay spokesman. "We'll see an expanded use of banner adds in the near future at eBay."

The arrangement calls for AOL and eBay to share a percentage of revenue, which wasn't disclosed. AOL has sold advertisements on a version of the eBay site for AOL subscribers that the two companies have operated for some time, Pursglove said.

No financial details of the arrangement were released.