Ebay has agreed to acquire privately held StubHub, a leading online secondary ticketing site, for an estimated aggregate value of about $310 million.

The acquisition will enable eBay to expand its presence in the online ticketing world, while allowing StubHub to continue to scale its business with the e-commerce resources of eBay.

"We feel that StubHub and eBay is a great combination," eBay corporate communications manager Catherine England tells Billboard.biz. "StubHub delivers a 'best in class' buying and selling experience, and eBay is focused on creating tailored shopping experiences for online shoppers and buyers. StubHub will help us build out the customer experience eBay offers in the tickets area."

Launched in 2000 and based in San Francisco, StubHub has become the highest profile of several secondary ticketing companies. The eBay acquisition will likely bring more perceived "legitimacy" to Stubhub from both consumers and a touring industry that has slowly warmed to online secondary market
up-and-comers.

Last summer, all tickets for INXS' June 14 performance at the Lobero Theatre
in Santa Barbara, Calif., were sold in an open auction format through stubhub.com, with final ticket prices determined by fans.

EBay has also been fairly aggressive in the secondary ticketing market. "Ticketing has been a great business for us," says England, adding that eBay will continue to operate its ticketing business. "Traditionally, StubHub has a lot of brokers who sell on their site, while we tend to have more mainstream consumers and individuals."

England says the StubHub name will continue, at least for now. When asked if
StubHub founder/CEO Jeff Fluhr -- who declined to comment on the acquisition
-- would be staying on, or what other changes might take place, England says, "In the short term we don't have any plans to make any major changes. The reality is after the deal has closed and both teams have the opportunity to collaborate more closely. We'll look at how we can best serve the needs of fans, but it's too soon to speculate on what any changes may look like."

The final StubHub purchase amount will be determined at closing based on a formula and be payable in cash. This acquisition -- which is subject to regulatory approval and approval of StubHub's stockholders, among other conditions -- is expected to close in the first quarter of 2007.

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