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eBay hit with site slowdown

A slowdown prevents some members from reaching the site's home page and other pages, but the company has not yet identified the source of the problems.

A site slowdown on eBay prevented some members from reaching the home page and other pages on the leading auction site for nearly five hours Monday.

The slowdown began at 6:55 a.m. PDT and lasted until 11:45 a.m. PDT, the company said in a note on one of its announcements board. Some customers simply experienced long download times, while others were unable to access the site or the site navigation at all.

"These issues have been resolved, and full access has been restored to all users," the company said in its note. "We understand that this issue caused you inconvenience, and we sincerely apologize. We appreciate your patience as we worked to correct this issue."

eBay did not say what caused the problems, although in an earlier note it blamed the problems on "technical difficulties" across its site. The company did not say whether it would credit fees to sellers affected by the site troubles. The company typically awards credits only when its bidding system is unavailable due to a hard outage of an hour or more.

Company representatives did not return calls seeking comment.

Although eBay's systems have been relatively stable over the last year, a rash of problems have cropped up in recent months.

Earlier this month, problems plagued eBay for three straight days, starting off with a nine-hour outage in the company's clothing and jewelry stores. The subsequent glitches limited users' ability to log in to their personalized "My eBay" pages and prevented them from accessing the company's home page.

Last month, the company suffered a 90-minute outage and a three-hour site slowdown.

The San Jose, Calif.-based online auction giant is in the midst of upgrading its back-end systems with its "V3" initiative, which will include real-time updates for eBay's data warehouse and minute-by-minute updates for listings, currently updated once per hour. The company has said that last month's outage was unrelated to the upgrade.