eBay acquires US online ticket site StubHub for $310m

LONDON - eBay has had its $310m bid for US online ticketing website Stubhub accepted, in a move which will enable the auction site to legally sell tickets for entertainment and sporting events.

The acquisition of Stubhub will be viewed as a shrewd one for eBay, which has been criticised for allowing touts to sell tickets for major concerts, including charity events, at highly inflated prices.

Stubhub, which was founded by Stanford Business School graduates Eric Baker and Jeff Fluhr in 2000, will allow eBay users to sell tickets for events through a secure online platform, and in return Stubhub will charge sellers 15% commission, with buyers have to pay a fee of 10%.

The site works by allowing registered users to buy and sell tickets, and although tickets sold on the site will not be price fixed, Stubhub promises to ensure all merchandise is authentic.

Stubhub is extremely active in the US sports and entertainment market, and has relationships with a number of high profile NFL and NBA teams, including the Chicago Bears and the Washington Wizards.

Baker has since used the US model of Stubhub to set up its European equivalent, Viagogo, which launched in August, and now has partnerships with Chelsea FC and Manchester United.

It is understood that eBay plans to significantly expand Stubhub in the UK and Germany over the next 18 months and establish itself as the number one secondary online ticket vendor in Europe.

Baker said: "eBay's purchase validates a rapidly growing sector that benefits teams, entertainers and fans alike."

eBay was heavily criticised last month for allowing touts to sell tickets for this year's Princess Diana memorial concert at five times their market value of £45 within minutes of them going on sale.

The auction site responded by removing all bids from its site, but many punters were left empty handed after touts bought multiple tickets.

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