July 2013 - ebay inc. announced it has acquired for a yet to be disclosed amount the Belgium Classifieds Ads website 2dehands.be and 2ememain.be. The website names mean "second hand" in Flemish and French. Belgium is not the biggest e-commerce market in Europe, that coverted place is contested by UK, Germany, France and Russia.
The acquisition demonstrates ebay's continued strategy around international growth through acquiring companies abroad. Back in 2000 ebay acquired alando.de to break into Europe via Germany and at a bargain price of $50 million! The acquistion in Belgium follows a recent investment in India, further underpinning the importance of ebays' international growth strategy.
It also identifies that the company, which also is seeking to jump on to the next stage of e-commerce through businesses like PayPal, is also not forgetting less tech-forward areas of e-commerce: classifieds, one of the first and oldest print-based services to go online, are not exactly the cutting edge of online sales; early mover leading sites like Craigslist have been regularly slammed for being slow to innovate.
The Belgium sites currently attract some 5.5 million unique visitors per month. They will become part of ebay's Classifieds group, which operates in over 25 countries and 1,000 cities around the world.
“2dehands.be and 2ememain.be will remain free, local Belgian sites and by joining forces with the eBay Classifieds Group, will benefit from the innovative technologies found across eBay’s global portfolio of classifieds businesses,” the company notes.
Looks like the two will also benefit from ebay's mobile and other technologies to update the two; "The development of innovative mobile technologies is a priority for the business," the company said in its statement.