Argentinian classifieds site AlaMaula confirms that eBay is shutting the operation on March 4. AlaMaula is notifying users of the shutdown via a banner on its homepage.
The classifieds site was founded in 2009 by entrepreneurs Guillermo De Bernardo, Jorge De Bernardo, and Roque Peralta and acquired by eBay in 2011.
AlaMaula is the only company eBay owns in Argentina, leaving it with no other local marketplace or classifieds operation in the country.
Guillermo De Bernardo, cofounder of AlaMaula, is sad to see the classifieds site shut down.
When eBay bought the Argentinian site, De Bermardo became Marketing Director of Ebay Classified for all of Latin America. But he left the company in 2015 to pursue other interests.
In an interview with Forbes in Argentina, he provided his thoughts about his experience with eBay and the decision to shut down the site he founded.
“It is an anguish what happened with AlaMaula because it is a site that is about to be turned off and has 5 million organic visits, which generates more than 8,000 daily postings. I see it as a corporate action, by the Ebay movements around the world. As it was to be separated from PayPal at the time.”
Guillermo De Bernardo to Forbes (translated via Google Translate)
In the article, he wonders why eBay is not selling AlaMaula because the traffic seems to suggest the site is doing okay.
Elliott Management to Blame?
He further says the decision by eBay to shut down AlaMaula could be because of recent noise by Elliott Management, which has taken a significant position in eBay.
Elliott Management believes eBay needs to refocus on its core marketplace sites.
The active investor group sent a letter to eBay management suggesting it should sell StubHub and Craigslist to streamline its operations.
Is AlaMaula possibly one the first victims of the Elliott Management push to get eBay’s management to focus on its core marketplace?
De Bernardo’s suggestion that shutting down AlaMaula is more efficient for eBay than to sell could be very plausible.
It also would give eBay management some backing it is taking the words by Elliott Management serious and trying to streamline operations without having to sell two of its better performing properties StubHub and Craigslist.
2019 could be an interesting year for eBay if Elliott Management continues to push for changes at eBay.