The UK competition regulator has approved eBay’s tie-up with Norway’s Adevinta after the companies agreed to sell UK second-hand sales sites Gumtree UK and Shpock, smoothing the path for the US$9.2 billion classified advertisements deal.
The deal between Silicon Valley-based eBay and Norway’s Adevinta will create the world’s largest online classified advertising group. On Wednesday, June 2, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) announced that it had accepted the remedies put forward by the parties in March in order to avoid an in-depth merger investigation.
Ebay agreed to combine with Adevinta in July last year after activists pressured eBay to slim down its business. The eBay classified ads business included Gumtree and Canada’s Kijiji, along with vehicle marketplace sites in Denmark, Germany, Italy, and the UK.
The CMA raised concerns about the deal in February, claiming it could lead to a “loss of competition” because of the level of influence that eBay would be able to exert over the combined group. The regulator said Gumtree would also no longer be an “independent competitor to eBay’s marketplace” after the deal, leaving Facebook’s Marketplace as the only remaining significant rival.
Adevinta will now sell Shpock, while eBay will sell its UK Gumtree business, which includes its Motors.co.uk used-car site. The UK businesses would together have represented less than 5% of the combined group if the deal had gone ahead as planned.
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