Britain’s markets watchdog has launched a full-scale investigation into eBay’s bid to create the world’s largest online business for classified ads.
The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has started examining eBay’s £7 billion (US$9.5 billion) deal with Norway’s Adevinta as part of a crackdown on digital monopolies.
The e-commerce giant is selling its classified ads business, which includes the hugely popular Gumtree website, to Adevinta for £1.8 billion (US$2.4 billion) in cash and 44% of the combined firm.
The deal will make eBay the largest shareholder in Norway’s Adevinta, which owns online ad websites in 20 countries and books annual revenues of £1.3 billion (US$1.77 billion).
Adevinta is one of a string of firms that has cashed in as people spend more time online during the pandemic.
The CMA is scrutinizing the deal because eBay’s classified ads unit owns both Gumtree and Motors.co.uk, which have millions of UK users between them.
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