EBay buys Taiwan’s NeoCom in bid for Asian market

EBay Inc. is scooping up Taiwanese auction site operator NeoCom Technology Co. Ltd. in a bid to establish its presence in Taiwan’s robust e-commerce market, eBay said Tuesday.

With the purchase of NeoCom, eBay will acquire two auction-style sites, uBid.com.tw and Bid.com.tw. Both offer a full range of trading options and categories, eBay said.

The move is expected to bolster the San Jose, California-based company’s presence in Asia, where, according to eBay, Taiwan is the third-largest e-commerce market with 6.5 million people online. The Taiwanese sites will also allow the auction giant to edge its way into the Chinese market.

The online auction powerhouse placed a winning bid of US$9.5 million in cash for the Taiwanese company, plus an amount based on working capital adjustments to be determined. EBay said that it did not expect the transaction to affect its bottom line, but it did predict that increased operating expenses would reduce its earnings per diluted share for the second quarter of 2002 by a penny.

The company said that it now expects its pro forma earnings per share to come in at between $0.31 and $0.32 for the first half of 2002, and between $0.69 and $0.72 for the full year.

EBay, in San Jose, California, can be reached at +1-408-558-7400 or via the Web athttp://www.ebay.com