-Freeserve is expected to announce plans for an online auction service tomorrow in a bid to boost its service and share price.
The launch could seriously damage the chances of the online auction firm, QXL's planned flotation. QXL had planned to float next month. It has already seen its valuation halved since the summer by soaring competition and overall market concern about the value of internet stocks.
Last week Freeserve saw its share price dip significantly below its 150p float price. However, its price has started to edge back up again and this morning hit 147p before dropping back slightly to 142p.
QXL was initially valued at £750 million when news of its planned float first emerged. Last week it was valued at between £212 million and £242 million.
With US rival eBay set to enter Europe, its value could fall still further. Freeserve's planned auction service is just one of a number of services it is thought be planning for rollout in the next few weeks.