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eBay offers auction tracking and bidding via TV

May 20, 2005

eBay has signed a deal with Time Warner Cable to offer auction tracking and bidding using television as the media. However, according to an eBay spokesperson, this is inaccurate, as eBay is not directly involved in the pilot program.

According to the report, a privately owned software company named BIAP developed software that will enable Time Warner subscribers in Austin, TX to make bids on eBay auctions.

The pilot test will last approximately one year. "We think it's the next step for our customers to have an enhanced television experience with digital service," said Tom Kinney, the Austin division president of Time Warner Cable, a unit of Time Warner, in the report.

However, according to eBay spokesman Hani Durzy, the project is an independent deal between Time Warner and a private software developer not with eBay.

"The Reuters story is inaccurate. We do not have a deal with Time Warner; this is a deal between Time Warner and a software developer named BIAP, who is one of more than 10,000 members of our developer's program.

BIAP developed the application, they struck whatever deal they have with Time Warner to test this, etc. The eBay developer program gives access to our APIs to application developers, who strive to create tools that can be used by the buying and selling community on the marketplace," said Durzy in an email to ECommerce-Guide on Thursday morning.

Durzy also said this project does not indicate eBay was looking at television as a new avenue of growth.

"We think this application is innovative like the many others that other developers have created over the years, but to be clear, we have no indication at this point whether the community will embrace it or not.

Ultimately, with all applications made for eBay users (whether by us or by third parties, like this one), the community determines their fate. And to be more clear, this is by no means a signal that television as a channel for delivering eBay content has become a strategic focus for us," he said.

Source: eCommerce Guide



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