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Yahoo bangs gavel down on auction sites

Yahoo Auctions in the U.S. and Canada will shut down on June 16, but the Asia sites will remain up and running.

Yahoo is closing its auction sites in the U.S. and Canada on June 16, the company said on Tuesday.

"After careful consideration, we have decided to close the Yahoo U.S. and Canada auctions sites to better serve our valued customers through other Yahoo products," the company said in a statement that mirrored a blog posting.

The closures do not affect Yahoo's auction sites in Hong Kong, Singapore or Taiwan, the company said.

A Yahoo representative declined to elaborate on the reason for shutting the sites.

An analyst said the move would allow Yahoo to concentrate on its other, more popular sites.

"The site didn't seem to get much traction," said Steve Weinstein, an analyst at Pacific Crest Securities who covers Yahoo and eBay. "And they do have a good working relationship with eBay now...Given that it wasn't really doing much for Yahoo it makes sense for them to focus on other areas."

EBay has nearly 95 percent of the market share for U.S. traffic to auction sites, while Yahoo's share is 0.19 percent, according to research from Hitwise.

Could the IRS have something to do with it? Maybe. A posting on BloggingStocks speculated that increasing calls for IRS scrutiny on auction and sales taxes on Internet sales could have played a part in Yahoo's decision. Yahoo declined to comment on that theory.