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Ebay Slashes 1000 Jobs, Acquires Three companies For USD 1.3 billion

Auction powerhouse Ebay has announced that it would send pink slips to around 10 percent of its global workforce - its biggest layoff drive - roughly around 1000 full time employees, as well as hundreds of temporary workers whose contracts won't be renewed.

The move, Ebay said, was unrelated to the current slowing global economy and marks the online mammoth's pledge to improve its core business whose rate of growth has been slowing down significantly over the past few years. The restructuring will cost Ebay up to USD 80 million but will result in annual savings of USD 150 million according to the company's bean counters.

Ebay also announced that it will spend USD 1.3 billion to buy three companies - Bill me later, Den Bla Avis and BilBlasen in a bid to improve its flagging business. Like Paypal, Bill me later is seen by Ebay as a potential competitor to its core business and combining it with Paypal - which it bought in 2002 - makes sense.

Paying USD 830 million for it though may not be the wisest move around, especially during the current cash crunch situation, especially when taking into consideration the USD 125 million outstanding options that could add up.

The two other websites are based in Denmark specialised in online classified services. Den Bla Avis and Bilbassen will fit Ebay's growing portfolio of classified advertising websites in Europe. It already owns, Gumtree (which it acquired through Kijiji) and Spanish Loquo.

The auction site is expected to bring in around USD 2.1 billion this quarter and strongly believes that it is in a position to hit 39 to 41 cents. Ebay shares, at the time of writing, took a serious battering, plunging below USD 17, a fall of 40 percent over the last six months and half its share prices from one year ago.

Désiré Athow

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.