BusinessInsider.com is reporting that the company behind the leading auction website and the popular PayPal platform is buying Milo.com for $75 million.
It seems a surprising choice, at first. Milo has been called the anti-Amazon for its ability to send traffic to bricks-and-mortar merchants. The local shopping engine scours prices and availability in real time for area stores, arming Web-savvy consumers with the ability to get what they want in a manner of minutes, instead of days through e-commerce.
Wait a minute. Won't eBay be sending potential buyers away from its auction sellers? PayPal's penetration in cyberspace is impressive, but the same can't be said for physical retail. Isn't Milo really more of the anti-eBay than it is an enemy of Amazon.com
Buying Milo begins to make a lot more sense when you realize that Milo is unlikely to be incorporated into eBay.com itself. Just as eBay's free classified websites are incremental to eBay's flagship business, most visitors to Milo or eBay won't even realize that there's a corporate connection.
There may still be synergy. If a search for a product on Milo exhausts its selection of 3 million locally available products through 52,000 stores -- including Best Buy
It would be trickier, but traffic can flow the other way under the right circumstances in a way that would make sure eBay sellers are keeping their prices honest.
Sure, snapping up Overstock.com
Milo makes sense, especially at a price point that provides a sharp contrast to Google's
What should eBay buy next? Share your thoughts in the comments box below.
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Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz is a satisfied eBay user with 178 positive feedbacks to show for it. He does not own shares in any of the companies in this story. He is also a member of the Rule Breakers analytical team, seeking out the next great growth stock early in its defiance. The Fool has a disclosure policy.