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EBay Plans to Expand Its PayPal Service

June 29, 2004|From Bloomberg News

EBay Inc., the world's largest Internet auction company, plans to expand its PayPal payment service to the rest of the company's international markets, Chief Executive Meg Whitman said Monday.

"The long-term vision is to have PayPal follow the EBay footprint around the world," Whitman said.

PayPal lets people close transactions on EBay faster through electronic accounts from which payments can be made or received.

EBay bought PayPal for $1.5 billion in October 2002 and is expanding the payment service where it operates auction sites, including Germany and Britain. EBay, which operates or has investments in websites in 28 countries, last month opened a regional PayPal headquarters in Dublin, Ireland, as part of its European expansion.

The company has said it wants to expand elsewhere in Europe, including France and Austria. During the first quarter, people used PayPal for purchases of items worth $4.32 billion.

"Over time we will make more acquisitions," Whitman said, adding that "for the moment, we want to consolidate the acquisitions we have made."

Most expansion opportunities are "small," either in payment security or in expanding into new markets, Whitman said. EBay is interested in expanding in Japan "over the long haul," she added.

Shares of San Jose-based EBay rose $2.09 to $92.81 on Nasdaq. They've risen 44% this year.

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